HCI fails to win over Treasury

Attempts last month by home computing providers and the HCI Alliance to find a common product to fill the gap left by the Home Computing Initiative broke down when the Treasury refused to back their proposal. The HCI Alliance had held four meetings with providers in a bid to come up with one uniform scheme or product that could be offered by them all. Stuart Pembery, vice-president of corporate development at Futuremedia, said: “There were times when a common solution was found but wasn’t being backed by the Treasury, so many providers decided to do their own thing.” Yet others were more pessimistic from the start, and had expressed concerns that the meetings would prove fruitless. Martin Prescott, managing director at Red PC Services, said: “The HCI Alliance wanted a common product around tax breaks, but the Treasury said from the start it wouldn’t give these breaks.”