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UK PM Praises Game Industry As MP Calls For Tax Breaks

UK PM Praises Game Industry As MP Calls For Tax Breaks

February 26, 2010 | By Chris Remo

February 26, 2010 | By Chris Remo
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United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown has singled out the country's video game developers as "leading the way" in Europe, and Labour MP Tom Watson has called for industry tax breaks in Parliament.

Speaking about British innovation in an online broadcast in advance of London's Global Investment Conference (MP3 link), as reported by Edge Online, Brown said the UK is "leading the way in creative industries -- by far the biggest producer of computer games in Europe."

And now Watson, who represents the West Bromwich East constituency in the House of Commons, has introduced a motion calling for national-level video game development tax breaks. The motion cites research from UK trade group TIGA, claiming "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."

Watson has long been an advocate for the UK's video game industry. Last November, he created the Facebook group "Gamers' Voice" for those who are "sick of UK newspapers and (my fellow) politicians beating up on gaming." In just over three months, the group has gained nearly 20,000 members.

In his motion, Watson warns that the UK game industry's "main competitors, including the USA, Canada and South Korea...all offer major tax breaks at either national, state, or regional level for game production."


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