Consultation period may prove crucial in determining final investment framework, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey tells Develop

Treasury ‘may adjust £50m game tax break fund’

The Treasury may alter its £50 million initial investment pool for games tax breaks, with the final sum dependent on a consultation period between government and industry, the culture minister Ed Vaizey has told Develop.

Today the Chancellor, George Osborne, sent shockwaves through the games industry by introducing a tax break policy for the sector.

Official Budget documents show that, in the twelve months from April 2013, the government will spend £15 million on game production tax relief. As much as £35 million will be spent a year later.

But that figure could be adjusted as Ministers and civil servants engage in a consultation period with industry executives and studios, Vaizey claimed.

“Those Budget figures are rough costs,” he said.

"I think the final sum will come part of the consultation process with the Treasury, and Government will want to come to grips with the definitive costs when it comes to deciding the tax credit.”

Asked whether the UK games sector can ask for further funding, Vaizey said “it’s a tough call but people need to be realistic about what the Government can afford and what we can get out of the Treasury – we mustn’t ask for theearth".

In the 2010 Budget, Labour proposed to fund games tax breaks with £194 million across a five-year period.

By comparison, just one region of Canada – Quebec – invested an estimated £74 million in games tax relief last year alone.

Go here for Develop’s full games tax break coverage.

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