Gaming champion and Labour MP Tom Watson has called on the government to offer tax relief to the UK games industry in an Early Day Motion.
Watson said on his Gamers' Voice Facebook group that he's managed to get MPs from all sides of the House of Commons to support a motion calling for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to even the playing field by giving game developers the same tax breaks offered in other countries, most notably Canada and the USA.
The Early Day Motion, which like most EDMs is unlikely to be discussed in Parliament, reads:
That this House congratulates the UK video games industry on its contribution to the country's economy; notes that the video games industry contributes over £1 billion annually to the UK's gross domestic product, generates £400 million for the Exchequer in tax revenues and supports 28,000 jobs; recognises the threat to the UK games industry that comes from its main competitors including the USA, Canada and South Korea who all offer major tax breaks at either national state or regional level for game production or other substantial government financial support; welcomes the research of TIGA the trade association representing the UK games industry, into games tax relief, which shows that a tax break would create or save 3,550 graduate level jobs or the vocational equivalent, and increase and protect £415 million in new and saved tax receipts over five years; and calls on the Government to implement a tax break for game production in this year's Budget.
Bully-boy Broon recently recognised that the UK games industry was leading the way in Europe and committed to new investment, but stopped short of mentioning any meaningful numbers.
He was probably too busy stealing Alistair Darling's lunch money to do the maths. As we noted here, Darling rejected the idea of tax relief for UK games developers in his pre-budget report.