MPs back Early Day Motion for game tax breaks

MPs back Early Day Motion for game tax breaks

By Rob Crossley

July 5th 2010 at 2:23PM

But one Lib Dem and zero Conservatives back the bid

A growing number of MPs have put their name behind a new Commons petition to introduce game tax breaks.

The Early Day Motion (EDM) – which “condemns the decision by the Chancellor of the Exchequer” – was tabled late in June and has since been signed by members of many political persuasions, from Labour to SNP MPs.

Yet only one Liberal Democrat MP has signed the petition, while the list is notably absent of any Conservative party member.

Both parties had played-up their support for game tax breaks in the run up to the general election.

The Early Day Motion currently has 15 signatories, though pressure group Gamers’ Voice is now writing to MPs in the hope more will join the bid.

Those who put their name to the EDM will effectively agree that the Commons “condemns the decision by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to abandon plans for tax relief for the computer games industry, [and] considers that this decision will affect Scotland disproportionately, as Dundee alone accounts for 10 per cent".

The EDM also “further considers tax relief necessary to enable the industry to be on a level playing field with competitors, such as France, Canada, Japan and South Korea, already offering tax relief, [and] notes that a recent report from games industry body TIGA showed that, over five years, the tax breaks would cost an estimated £192 million but would deliver £415 million in tax receipts.”

The motion was tabled by Stewart Hosie, a SNP MP for Dundee East who recently commented in the Commons that the Government “took the appalling decision to scrap video games tax relief”.

Back in February a similar EDM was tabled by Labour MP Tom Watson, gaining dozens of signatories.

The motion itself is of limited legislative consequence. By definition, an Early Day Motion will have no debate in parliament.