Tax break hopes return as Watson joins Labour front line

Tax break hopes return as Watson joins Labour front line

By Rob Crossley

October 7th 2011 at 1:08PM

Games industry supporter Tom Watson appointed Labour Party deputy chair

Britain’s ailing hopes for game tax breaks were revived today as one of the most vocal supporters of the initiative joined front line politics.

Labour MP Tom Watson (pictured, right) has been appointed as Labour Party deputy chair, as part of a wider reshuffle of the opposition party.

Watson, whose activism during the News Corp phone hacking scandal saw his popularity soar, is an avid video game fan.

He has told Develop on several occasions that the UK needs a games tax relief scheme to aid the nation’s diminishing fleet of triple-A games studios.

"This is fantastic news," said Richard Wilson (pictured, left), CEO of games trade association Tiga.

"This is a well deserved promotion. Tom Watson is a fantastic advocate of the games industry, we hope he will continue to to shape Labour Party thinking towards the games industry," he added.

This week, a new study from Tiga found that the UK games development industry pumps more than £1 billion into the British economy every year.

Watson’s new role as deputy chair is not an executive position, though it does elevate the West Bromwich East MP to front-line politics and a seat on party leader Ed Miliband’s table.

A central difference between the current Labour Party and Coalition Government is their philosophies in reducing debt levels.

Labour believes the Treasury’s deficit reduction policies are too rapid and grave, claiming they have inadvertently slowed growth.

The opposition party says it wants to boost production across UK industries through public funding.

But Chancellor George Osborne this week said that borrowing money to facilitate such measures was dangerous and the reason the on-going credit crisis began.

The next scheduled opportunity for Labour to be in power is the May 2015 general election.