The government has defeated last-ditch attempts by channel players and trade bodies to save the Home Computing Initiative (HCI) from abolition.
Although chancellor Gordon Brown announced in the Budget that the HCI would be defunct from 6 April 2006, all Budget announcements have to pass through the Finance Bill before they can become law. The Conservative Party had been spearheading a campaign to save HCI.
However, the Conservative’s efforts proved fruitless last week, as MPs voted in favour of keeping the HCI clause as part of the Finance Bill.
Conservative MP Mark Francois, the shadow paymaster general, told CRN: “The government’s insistence on abolishing the scheme is a short-sighted snub to the 2,000 people who will lose their jobs, and the millions who now will not benefit from a scheme that has spread IT skills throughout the workforce.”
At the beginning of April, the chancellor invited the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to submit proposals for a new programme that would not allow room for exploitation (CRN, 10 April). “Our understanding is that the chancellor will be talking further with businesses and we will continue to consult with the government,” said a CBI representative.
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