Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The day of reckoning...


The Budget for 2011 is due at about 3.45 this afternoon. What will it mean for film making in Ireland? At a guess, not a whole lot of change. The employment trump card has been played to good effect. Perhaps a 12% cut is in store for the Film Board, or maybe as much as 14% if the cut is averaged across capital and administration.

Whatever the outcome I expect there will be considerable emphasis laid on tasking the IFB with incentivising inward investment and leveraging spend in the local economy.

I don't think Section 481 will be affected, and if there are to be any changes (the rate at which tax relief is applied?) they may not be announced until the Finance Bill in January - political stability permitting.

The Arts Council seems likely to suffer a significant cut which would require a general re-prioritisation of its policies. A likely result is a diminution of funding for The Irish Film Institute, the film festivals, accessCinema, and the various film resource centres. It might also cause the Council to re-think both its limited commitment to the art of film making as a form of production activity and the amount of capital it has made available for film exhibition.

After... (later)

From the Dept. of Tourism, Culture & Sport
Culture & Film – allocation of €150 million
· An allocation of €65.2m for the Arts Council which is a 5% reduction on the 2010 allocation will enable it to maintain its major programmes and activities.
· The Irish Film Board allocation of €18.4m will enable it to continue to support indigenous Irish audiovisual industry and attract inward investment from international productions.
Minister Hanafin said “funding for the Arts Council will help sustain its main arts organisations, keep regional venues open and programmed and support festivals and touring. The Council supports over 50 venues, approximately 200 festivals and 400 arts organisations.
The Irish audiovisual industry is a positive force for change, as it is responsible for increased inward investment and providing high quality local employment - this year alone over 10,000 jobs in cast, crew, extras and post-production were supported on almost 50 film and television productions. The Section 481 Investment tax relief for the film and television production sector will remain in place.”

Minister Hanafin went on to say “the vast majority of writers, artists, sculptors and photographers who are currently availing of the Artists’ Exemption will still be covered by this provision – even with the reduction in threshold from €125,000 to €40,000 – which for a long number of years helped nurture new talent and give them a foothold to launch a career in their area of expertise.”

The actual 2010 outturn figures and 2011 budget for the IFB looks like this -
IRISH FILM BOARD Current Capital Total
(GRANT-IN-AID) 2,772 16,500 19,272 [2010]
(GRANT-IN-AID) 2,431 16,000 18,431 [2011] -4%

A very good result for the IFB. Even the 12% cut in current (administration) spending should be bearable, although it will be interesting to see how it is introduced by the agency.

It would be useful to get a breakdown on those 10,000 jobs. How long did they last? What was the average income? How much income tax was paid on foot of the 10,000 jobs? How many were single work opportunities? How many were multiple employments of the same individuals? How many of the jobs are derived in part from the TV license fee? How many are permanent jobs? How many are self-employed, and how many are PAYE workers?

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