Conservatives 'actively considering' UK games-industry tax break

Shadow culture minister Ed Vaizey says he wants to give domestic development and publishing the support they need in the worldwide economy.

by

LONDON---Introduced as the "minister for games" at today's London Games Conference, the Conservative Party's Ed Vaizey (pictured) was quick to point out that he's actually the "shadow minister for games." The message was clear, though. As the opposition party's equivalent of the culture minister, Vaizey wanted to court the attendant games industry representatives ahead of the upcoming British elections, which the Conservatives are heavily favoured to win.

One of the big talking points in UK development is how to retain talent in the face of expensive conditions, overseas competition, and the lack of government support in the form of tax breaks. "We're actively considering a tax break [for UK development]," said Vaizey. "However, we're encouraging you to think more widely, and if you want to influence Conservative policy, now's the time to do it," he said, addressing some of the industry heavyweights in the room.

Another popular topic among the UK development community is the prospect of a government support group along the lines of the UK Film Council. "There's no appetite to create new quangos at the moment," said Vaizey, using the colloquial term for quasi non-governmental organization. "But we're looking at having the Film Council handle the video games sector--it's something we'll look at if the Conservatives are voted in." The British film council helps bankroll films deemed culturally important to British society, such as the recent satire In the Loop.

"One of the lowest points for me recently was seeing a photo of a kid sitting on a sofa--listless, bored, fat, and yes, he had a videogame controller on his lap," he said, referencing a recent print advert from the Change4Life organisation. "And who sponsored this ad? The department for culture and sport--absolutely unbelievable!" he continued.

While admitting that he wasn't a gamer, Vaizey claimed that the game industry was a key part of his focus in the lead up to the next general election. The election has not been announced by the current Labour government, but it is widely expected to happen next year.

Discussion

76 comments
perfect_sierra
perfect_sierra

@Draaagoon I'm afraid the Conservatives are still very much anti-LGBT. You can check out their voting records by googling "They Work For You" or "Public Whip". There are some decent folk among the Tories, just as there are some rotten apples in the Lib Dems. But as a party, the Tories have voted against equalising the age of consent, gay adoption and including sexuality as being equal to ethnicity and disability in anti-discrimination laws. Cameron is one of the "nice" ones, the thin end of the wedge. There's a lot of Tory politicians who have said some very nasty things about the LGBT community even in recent years. Cameron's trying to shut them up, but he can't change the way they feel.

thingta42
thingta42

Who do you think drag us into this mess to begin with? Labour! By all means if you want to support a Party that steals money for stupid reasons then be my guest and support labour..

mgibuk
mgibuk

I wasn't going to post again because things are hitting boiling point a bit but I just want people to be really careful about blaming the current government for matters that are out of their hands due to: - European law, such as immigration - Global Problems, such as recession, ask iceland - Polocies that all major parties agreed on, such as the conflict in the middle east, an issue I don't personally agree with. I'm trying not to look like I'm defending labour here (mainly because I dislike the vast majority of politicians in all parties) but I really believe that roles reversed and the tories were in power, things wouldn't be much different.

mgibuk
mgibuk

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

khariss
khariss

ye but they will ban every bit of violence in games

Mandalore_15
Mandalore_15

OK kavadias1981, we all know you're Labour's little b****, no need to keep hammering the point home. If they're so great, then how come they... - reduced the efficiency of the NHS while simultaneously near bankrupting it, creating a deficit of patient care that will last decades? - ignored early warning signs of the credit crunch that could have prevented it, while plunging us deeper into it by continuing to increase public spending? - created increased racial tension by not sufficiently controlling immigration, implementing postively racist employment laws and reducing civil liberties in the name of "political correctness"? - irreperably damaged Britain's international image by playing the USA's b**** in pretty much all areas of foreign policy? - dragged us into pointless conflict in the middle east while simultaneously ignoring countries to whom a military presence would have benefitted? And many, many more. I'm not saying the Conservatives are saints, but **** it if I'd rather have them in than the complacent bunch of ****s Labour have become. Every government needs changed every once in a while. They start to take the job for granted otherwise.

mep69
mep69

they might as well keep knocking on old peoples homes and say "Urm VOTE FOR ME :S!?!" Cos they are not getting my vote.

gormo4
gormo4

THIS IS WHY WE NEED COMMUNISM!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@Draaagoon Cheers dude, it was fun to have a spirited debate for once. You come on here and it is usually the same old fanboy comments littered around, so it makes a change. Have a good evening.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@real_nimrod Well, I had to ask because I didn't know. I wasn't actually aware of that little move of Brown's in '99 as I wasn't actually living in the UK at the time, so thank you for that.

mutual-assassin
mutual-assassin

Monster Raving Looney party all the way! Though seriously, I really couldn't side with the Conservatives nor Labour. The politicians in Britain just annoy me.

lukas1051
lukas1051

Could someone translate please?

Draaagoon
Draaagoon

@real_nimrod Very good point. lol Anyway I am going home now so no more from me! ;) It has been fun.

Draaagoon
Draaagoon

@mgibuk & kavadias1981 They also led us back out of the recession. Labour came into power in 1997. Unemployment peaked at over 3 million under the Tories around 1992 but by 1997 this had fallen to around 1.5 million so it is not entirely correct to thank Labour for reducing it as that is the way it was going anyway. Who do we have to thank then now that unemployment is on the rise?? Ok a decision, how about the selling of the UKs gold stockpile when it was at an all time low just before the price trebled or perhaps I should bring up pensions? Maybe I will talk some more about the unrealisitic etimation of people coming to the UK after joining the EU? Or the war, thats always a good topic to go into. I do agree that a lot of people in this country are lazy and unwilling to work. But again, there seems to be no real incentive for those people to go out and get work when they quite comfortably claim benifits when being fully fit to work. Perhaps Labour should have done more to keep a cap on this. @Fenton_42 I think that is quite an archiac view that Conservative have something against gay people. For me personally it is not the I do not take the Lib Dems seriously but more I wonder how well they will fare in the global politics. Will they have the strength to really do right by our country. In saying that no party really stands out to me with strong policies so I guess there is no reason why they cannot take the stage.

real_nimrod
real_nimrod

@kavakiad, taking aside personal politics, questions like 'how have Labour made bad business decisions?' really open you up to attack....because I do a history degree and thus love playing devils advocate...how about brown selling gold at its rock bottom price in 1999? like i said, just playing devils advocate :p

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Finally, the bankers are not responsible for all this country's problems but they are responsible for the unemployment, this was caused by them refusing to lend and thus causing many businesses to close. Also, having to bail them out is going to result in inevitable cuts in the amount of money that goes into front line servies. This simply means that they will save where they can without having to sack anyone. Ho ho, but the Conservatives (you are going to love this) are actually planning to cut front line JOBS, thus raising employment to a new high. Hey, by all means let this country vote them in, maybe then they will be grateful for what they had.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@Draaagoon Ok, firstly, how have Labour made bad business decisions? You can't just say that but not give me any examples. Second, the reason they have lower support is because people are ignorant and ungrateful. They are quick to forget how much the country progressed under Labour and are just influenced by the slurs of the tabloid newspapers. Next, I have worked in various sectors of a local authority and yes, money is wasted. But this was far worse under the Conservative government. I can provide you with examples if you'd like. Next, unemployment has risen BUT is STILL higher than before Labour came into power, I'm not going to disagree about immigration though as that was an almighty cock up. And yet, migrants have proven themselves valuable employees, since they are hard-working and willing to undertake the jobs that we Brits find degrading. I don't know if you caught the BBC documentary about that a couple of years back. Teenage preganancy is a problem but it cannot be resolved by the government. Again, I did catch a documentary, made by teens, on that subject. Turns out they are aware of it, they just find that using a condom breaks the mood, so they don't bother with them - lol - can you believe that?!

Fenton_42
Fenton_42

The Lib Dems are also strong supporters of peoples rights, unlike some parties (going to have to lump the Conservatives & BNP together here) who still see gays & lesbians and ethnic minorities as second class citizens. Thirdly, getting onto the ecconomy, Vince Cable (the Lib Dem's chief ecconomic spokesman) was one of the few people to see the recession coming - but could he do anything about it? No. Because he's a Lib Dem. People need to stop thinking of the Lib Dems as merely a joke, and think of them as an alternative to Labour and the Conservatives that deserves genuine consideration. But alas, I realise that this is little more than a dream. I think David Mitchell put it best in the last episode of the latest series of mock the week (regretably I can't remember the whole rant but if anyone can find a link to it I'd very much appreciate it) but essentially it was that the Lib Dems could come up with the greatest policies in the world, but they still have no chance of getting in because no one takes them seriously. I appreciate that this has very little to do with the article here but every time I see people arguing about the 'two parties' I feel the need to remind them that there are better options out there.

Fenton_42
Fenton_42

But how about some of the other parties that hardly get a look in? The BNP - just no. There's something deeply wrong with someone who has to deny being a holocaust denier. Protest voting or no, they should never get into power. The OMRLP - a proper protest vote, although akin to voting Boris Johnson to run the entire country (we'd last 143 minutes) The Greens - arguably the most ernest political party, but when there's money troubles for everyone, people tend to forget about the environment UKIP - lets be honest, we can't afford to leave the EU, irrespective of whether you think we need to get more involved or not (and my opinion is that we do) Finally the Lib Dems. The party who, time after time, come up with perfectly good ideas that nobody listens to, ideas that should generate more public support than the two main parties. Case in point - as highlighted by perfect_sierra - university fees. When top up fees were first suggested, the Lib Dems were the only main party to speak out against them, but nobody really paid attention. Meaning I am now going to leave uni with at least £18,000 debt, and thats for just three years.

Fenton_42
Fenton_42

Why do people in this country seem to forget that we don't have a two party system? There are alternatives to labour and the conservatives. The ecconomic balls up that we find ourselves in now is global in scale, and as such it is ridiculous to attribute it to any single political party or financial instution. People have messed up across the board (but hey, we're so close to being out of the recession that bankers have started giving themselves bonuses again, which is nice). So lets look back to our options. Labour clearly aren't going to win the next election. It seems that nothing Gordon Brown does will go right. Yes they will get some votes from the people who blindly follow them every time, same as every party (even the monster raving looney party). I am willing to admit that the reason I don't support the conservatives is purely a case of class. The conservatives never have (and never will) looked after any class except their own. The middle class members of society, who rely on birth to carry them through life and not merit. They make lives as good as possible for them and piss on everyone else. You have to be fairly posh to get a decent deal from a conservative government. I'm from the Wolverhampton. You can't be posh if you're from Wolverhampton.

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

The title of this article cuts off as "Conservatives 'actively considering' UK..." I didn't really expect the rest to include "Tax Break". It's kind of strange given not so long ago the party line blamed video games along with rap music for being responsible for the break down of society. Then again they've been quieter on the whole "Broken Britain" from around the time they turned out the worst in the whole on the whole expenses thing.

mgibuk
mgibuk

The tories are opportunistic asshats. I can't trust any part of Cameron's sleezy campaign. In all likelihood those tax breaks will be passed onto the consumer in one way or another... edit: You can't blame the labour party for worldwide economic crisis... Also the tories led us into recession in the early 90's.

tatu2004
tatu2004

conservatives are full of crap every time they speak there more likely to ban 18 rated games than care for the gaming industry

Draaagoon
Draaagoon

@kavadias1981 I am sorry but I have to disagree. Labour themselves have made disastrous decisions in business and how the country has been run. To say that Labour do right by the majority then you would not find them with the lowest support in years and such parties as the BNP gaining ground. Believe me I have seen the internal workings or government based organisations and to say the least it is a shambles. Money is wasted left right and center. To say they do right by the majority I think is far from the truth, look around at the high unemployment, the shambolic state of immigration control, teenage pregnancy etc etc. To blame bankers for this countries problems is simply turning a blind eye.

viewtifuljon111
viewtifuljon111

@kavadias While I have no idea what you're talking about, it really restores my faith in humanity seeing Gamespot comments apologizing just in case they seemed too personal. Good for you. It seems anonymity hasn't turned -everyone- to total douches. Thanks!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@Draaagoon No, the country was most defintely not economically strong. Front line services were old fashioned and understaffed, working class families struggled to make ends meet. Unemployment and poverty plummeted when Labour took over power. And the reason the country is in such a mess is because arrogant bankers were left to run free, as they always have been, and they made some disastrous business decisions which led to them needing to be bailed out for the sake of our country. The government had to make this decision or let our country fall into depression. What would you have done? Make a sacrifice and save the country or let it sink? And you are right that no party would do right by everyone. What matters is that they do right by the majority, which Labour has proven that they stand up for.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@thingta42 Sorry if the whole thing seemed like I was attacking you. I just get so fired up when people forget how much Labour has actually done for this country and I kind of laid it all in your direction. Please don't take it personally.

Draaagoon
Draaagoon

@kavadias1981 So we should vote labour again? I am sorry but when Labour took this country over it was in a decent economically strong standing, 11 years or however long it is now just look at the state the country is in. I am not saying that conservatives will be the party to bring the UK out of the seemingly never ending decline into becomming the outer layer of hell but I am quite confident in saying that Labour is not the way to go. Really I could blaim Labour for the current economical state and say that it is their fault so many people are losing their jobs now. So in truth no political party will ever do right by everyone. But I bet when all those people who voted Labour feeling Conservative did nothing for them must be feeling pretty lost now.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@thingta42 Oh really? Perhaps you should read up on your British history prior to 1997. Labour has done more building up this country and supporting working class families than any previous government. Who do you think introduced the working tax and child tax breaks, hmm? Who do you think dragged our economy out of the mess it was in? Oh, that's right! It was Labour. The reason this country is still breathing is because they bailed US, not themselves but the British people, out of the mess that western banks made. Read the facts, not what the media tells you.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

lol - Take anything the Conservatives say with a pinch of salt. Mnay of you will be too young to remember when they were last in power but they did a successful job of crushing the life out of the working classes to feed the upper classes. Believe me when I say that a party led by a pompous Eton schoolboy like Cameron would NEVER do anything in the best interests of the British workers, including those in the games industry.

DragonsCrest50
DragonsCrest50

Politicians..who needs them. If the Conservatives truly think that computer games are making kids fat then they have problems. It is like a lot of people say its the parents fault and if the kids are brought up in a lazy manner then of course it will affect them now and in later life. I saw that Change4Life advert on TV. Instead of allowing councils to build masses of flats they should invest in building parks and gyms..maybe that will solve our problems. Politicians here in the UK tell us what to think, what to drink and what to eat. Now they want to tell us how we have to spend our free time. None of them are getting my vote

Rubarack
Rubarack

Good for you MattHope, if people actually voted for who they wanted to get in, as opposed to who they considered least odious of the main parties we might actually get some kind of progress. If nothing else at least we'd be a democracy rather than a sham dictatorship.

thingta42
thingta42

screw labour! there the reason why im moving from UK too many taxes on things

MattHopeKids
MattHopeKids

Seriously who cares what any MPs say in the UK anymore? I can't actually remember the last time anyone in parliament actually stuck by their word. All they ever say is what they think the British population wants to hear, they never have any intention to carry any of it out. And after the recent enlightening to the public of the MPs spending, seriously does anyone have any trust in our government anymore? I just always vote for one of the random small parties like the green party or the christian party. I know it wont make any difference, but I refuse to vote for anyone in labour, conservative, lib dem or the racist nazi BMP.

perfect_sierra
perfect_sierra

@FF_fan2004 I'd re-think your voting choice if I were you. The Lib Dems aren't in favour of increasing top-up fees, they are only in favour of keeping them (abolishing top-up fees was a classic part of their policies, but they've decided it's economically unfeasible in the current climate). Sure, that may sound heinous, but all of the other main parties are also planning on keeping them, so they're all the same in that respect. Of course, if you were voting for the Tories based on other policies as well, then I guess that doesn't matter. Personally, I'm voting for the Lib Dems because I'm tired of Labour and the Tories have an appalling record on gay rights (and I'm not just talking of Thatcher's Section 28, they still vote overwhelmingly against gay rights issues in parliament).

majere613
majere613

@breakitapart The dynamics of polictical affiliations are rather a weighty topic for this thread, I fear. You could take as an example the recent Republican scare-mongering about the Obama health plans where they rubbished the NHS, something the UK Conservatives will only do if they ever feel like being set on fire and dropped down a manhole. But if you really care, a spot of wiki-mining is probably in order :) Aaaanyhew.. Given some of the spectacular turkeys the Film Council has funded over the years, it'd be nice seeing some of that cash going somewhere more useful. So long as Peter bloody Molyneux doesn't hoover it all up to spend on vaporware. Actually, he could probably run for PM.

breakitapart
breakitapart

Stabby Quote:" I should point out to American readers that the UK and US conservatives are not the same." Please enlighten us with some elaboration on how they are not the same. Perhaps the term conservative is not understood the same way across the pond?

ShroudedEagle
ShroudedEagle

I really agree with Smartiepants there. I'm not much of a politics guy, but it's obvious that the Conservatives are using Labour's recent downers to their advantage, promising literally anything if they are elected. But there's things which are said to be true and things that are seen to be true.

Quofan
Quofan

The conservative party will say anything to get back into power. Am I the only one who realises New Labour was not the "real" labour party and that labour are in the middle of an identity crisis? You still have your old school socialist labour MP's like Ken Livingstone who are fighting to regain control from the likes of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, but voting for labour and conservative nowadays isnt really all that different. Yet papers like the awful Daily Mail still claim Labour stand for Socialist values - but they stand for the same things the Daily Mail do! We still get shafted either way. As a Scot, I'll be voting for SNP every election until Scotland is independent

Stabby
Stabby

@ SDBusDriver1979 Rockstar North (GTA) Lionhead (Fable) Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet) Creative Assembly (Total War) Rare (Banjo-Kazooie, Golden Eye) Free Radical/Cytek UK (Time Splitters) Team 17 (Worms) Criterion (Burnout) Bizarre Creations (Geometry Wars) Rocksteady (Batman: Arkham Asylum) ...off the top of my head lol!

Stoneys_Rock
Stoneys_Rock

@SDBusDriver1979 Arkham Asylum was made by an english developer on the tip of my tounge...

ColonelX24
ColonelX24

They need it their getting ripped off when it comes to consoles

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

I feel like there is a lot of UK game developers but it feels like they are all flying from my head. All I can think of is Rare, Rockstar London, and former Free Radical.

Stabby
Stabby

I should point out to American readers that the UK and US conservatives are not the same.

I_Pwn_U_n00bs
I_Pwn_U_n00bs

It aint a games fault the kid is fat it's either nature or bad parenting...

MarcusAntonius
MarcusAntonius

Tax breaks for industry to spur economic growth, yes, behavioral control, no.