Minister Ed Vaizey endorses TIGA/ELSPA union

Minister Ed Vaizey endorses TIGA/ELSPA union

By Rob Crossley

July 12th 2010 at 6:54PM

Industry sympathiser set to discuss the move at Develop Conference

More politicians are throwing their support behind ELSPA and TIGA’s joint-decision to unite in a new push for game tax breaks.

Just hours after Labour MP Tom Watson called the move “a significant partnership”, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has come out in support of the TIGA/ELSPA partnership.

Taking time out from back-to-back meetings at Number 10 today, Vaizey told Develop “it is great news that TIGA and ELSPA are working together”.

Vaizey has previously called for ELSPA and TIGA to merge together, and even floated the idea of a UK Games Council.

The Conservative MP is set to attend the Develop Conference this week to give a speech on supporting the games industry – a lecture to be made in the wake of the coalition government’s decision to scrap game tax breaks.

“I look forward to discussing the ELSPA/TIGA partnership with key players from the industry at the Develop Conference on Wednesday,” he added.

Today both ELSPA and TIGA announced they are to partner to form a Steering Committee - purpose built for the UK tax relief campaign.

An official statement read: “The committee will address the issue of why the coalition government withdrew the provision for games tax relief in the emergency budget.”

The body will also review TIGA’s original submission for games tax relief, “with a view to further enhancing the arguments”.

Moments after the announcement, Labour MP Tom Watson told Develop the move “will give coherence and strength to the argument” for developers to receive tax breaks on games production in the UK.

He added that the demonstrated unity between TIGA and ELSPA is “a mark of the seriousness of the issue, that both organisations have come together.”

Said Watson: “I think the move is very important, it’s a significant partnership.”

The ‘game-sympathetic’ MP, whose Labour party fleetingly approved game tax breaks when in power last March, called for action on the issue as a matter of urgency.