Outgoing UK culture minister confesses tax support

Outgoing UK culture minister confesses tax support

By Rob Crossley

February 25th 2010 at 11:56AM

Sion Simonâ??s signature reveals what he really wanted the government to do

Culture minister Sion Simon has explicitly revealed his support for British game development tax breaks – a revelation that, tellingly, only comes now he prepares to leave his post.

Simon worked at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport during the months when the office needed to make a decision on whether to grant development tax breaks.

Ultimately, the office refused the game industry’s plea for tax support, though new revelations suggest there was discord on the issue.

Simon, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Creative Industries, today has signed an Early Day Motion which unequivocally calls for games tax relief.

By being a signatory of the motion, Simon is backing “calls on the Government to implement a tax break for game production in this year's Budget.”

However, Simon’s support for the initiative comes as he gets ready to resign his post at the next election, with the aim to become the next Mayor of Birmingham.

The motion was tabled by backbench MP Tom Watson, an industry sympathiser who has rallied a surprising level of support with using a Facebook group called Gamers' Voice.

The motion itself is of negligible consequence. By definition, an Early Day Motion will have no debate in parliament. Its legislative significance is some distance from even private members bills.

[TIMELINE: UK TAX BREAKS]