That will be the Early day..

03/01/2012

An Early Day Motion, has been tabled calling on the Treasury to ensure that Machine Games Duty is revenue neutral so as not to threaten jobs.

Early Day Motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. However, very few are actually debated. EDMs allow MPs to draw attention to an event or cause. MPs register their support by signing individual motions.

The motion states that the Government “recognises the importance of tourism to the UK economy and in particular the part played by the amusement industry, which supports thousands of jobs in seaside towns”.

It says that the “amusement industry is facing one of the most critical periods in its history with the closure of more than 280 arcades over the last 18 months” and is “concerned that the current Treasury proposals to introduce machine gaming duty will cause an increase in costs and complexity for these businesses”.

The motion concludes by “calling on the Government to ensure that any change to the tax regime is undertaken with full consultation and is revenue neutral so as to ensure it does not threaten jobs, businesses and communities in the UK amusement sector and the UK tourism industry”.

A recent report by accountant Ernst and Young on the issue and quoted by BACTA, which represents the British amusement industry, warned that the current Treasury plans to introduce MGD have not taken into consideration the overall impact of partial VAT exemption and the existing business model of struggling seaside family amusement centres.

But a Treasury Spokesperson said MGD would make the taxing of machine games fairer and more sustainable because the tax would be directly linked to gross profits.

“While we accept there will be both winners and losers, we believe that, on balance, the change will help operators with less profitable machines and low VAT recovery rates. Also, many family seaside amusement arcades will benefit from the government’s intention to have a lower rate of MGD for machines with low stakes and prizes,” he said.

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