Politicians Disagree Over Tax Breaks For Games – Live On TV…

…complete with basic errors and added Darth Vader.  The issue of tax breaks for the games industry refuses to disappear, despite being turned down by Chancellor George Osborne in his first budget, earlier this year.

On today’s BBC Politics show, shadow minister for international development Gareth Thomas clashed with Liberal MP Tom Brake on whether ruling out the tax breaks, planned by the previous Labour administration, would have a negative impact on the industry in the UK.

According to CVG:

Labour MP Thomas said that there had been a “whole series of British jobs created by the games industry in the UK”, but that due to the lack of a tax credit, there was now a “question mark that jobs created can now be maintained”.
Brake countered that the tax relief was a “another spending commitment made by Labour that was uncosted” and said that the Opposition’s claim to be able to put the tax relief in place but still cut 20 per cent of state spending “doesn’t add up, I’m afraid.”

Mr Brake had his facts a little confused, attributing Grand Theft Auto to Realtime Worlds and using this example of why the government should not be supporting the sector.

Today’s politics show was broadcast live from the MCM Expo in London, leading to a less formal atmosphere than the show normally maintains.  Again, according to CVG: “At one point, a giant Darth Vader stomped around behind both MPs. They pretended not to notice.”

GamesIndustry.biz also carried the story.  You can find the whole of today’s Politics Show on BBC iPlayer.  Scroll forward to the 50 minute mark if you want to see the politicians meet the (regularly sized) Darth Vader, plus bonus online extras of a Storm Trooper and Imperial Guard.

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