Wednesday, March 21, 2012

UK Budget Speech - updated

Here's what UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had to say about his government's intentions regarding the extension of their film tax credit scheme to related industries.

The film tax credit, protected in our spending review, helped generate over £1 billion of film production investment in the UK last year alone.

Today I am announcing our intention to introduce similar schemes for the video games, animation and high-end TV production industries.

Not only will this help stop premium British TV programmes like
Birdsong being made abroad, it will also attract top international investors like Disney and HBO to make more of their premium shows in the UK.

It will support our brilliant video games and animation industries too.

update... some of the detail...

The TV tax credit is now subject to a 12 week consultation period, the intention is to introduce the measure at the beginning of the next tax year. The delay will allow time for the detail to be worked out and for the scheme to be examined by the European Commission to see if it's compatible with State Aid rules.

The expected benefit to producers is estimated to be at least 20% of spend. The effect of the announcement will be to focus the minds of producers, particularly in the US, on the possibility of producing high-end series in the UK from the beginning of April 2013. It remains to be seen how series will 'qualify' for the tax credit and whether it will be used to draw in foreign producers as much as to support locally originated projects.

The new, proactive support for animation may make the UK the English language co-production partner of choice.

Enterprise Investment Scheme(s) - tax incentive schemes used by production companies to raise capital/equity for business expansion, project production and/or development will have an annual limit of £5m. Individual tax-payers will be able to invest £1m in an EIS. The scheme has yet to be cleared by the European Commission.

Andrew Lowe of Element Pictures on Morning Ireland this morning.

And IBEC AVF yesterday:
The Audiovisual Federation, the IBEC group that represents Ireland's feature film, television and animation sectors today said that the planned introduction of new tax reliefs for the UK's audiovisual sector in 2013 highlighted the need for Ireland to ensure it remained an attractive and competitive investment location. The proposal was announced today by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and is subject to approval by the EU Commission.
Audiovisual Federation Director Torlach Denihan said: "Unless Ireland continues to update and improve its attractiveness as a location for TV, film and animation production we will lose jobs and investment. Ireland continues to attract significant audiovisual investment, but we need to stay ahead of the competition. The move by the UK only adds to the need to ensure that tax incentives, labour costs, skills and facilities in Ireland can compete with rival locations."
The Audiovisual Federation said the Government must actively work with all parts of the industry if the vision in its 'Creative Capital' report of doubling employment in the sector to 10,000 jobs is to be realised.

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