The concessions are only due to last until 2005 but a report from the Commonsculture,media and sport committee said the ‘health’ of UK film-making could beat stake if they are not renewed. Successful British productions,such as Calendar Girls, rely on tax breaks to ensure their viability.
The MPs’ report said: ‘We regard the existing level of tax relief for filmproduction as absolutely essential to the future health of the industry.
‘Lead times for decisions about inward investment are long, therefore thegovernment must end the current uncertainty plaguing the industry,must do it ina positive manner and needs to do so as quickly as possible,’ the report added.
However, government has become concerned that some TV productions areexploiting the tax breaks.The MPs made it clear they felt definitions of a British film production should exclude televisions soaps. There is a case for redefining what is a ‘British production excluding soaps from the definition of ‘films’.
The committee warned that the evidence from US studios was that there would be a significant loss of investment if the so-called section 48 tax breaks were to be abandoned as planned in 2005.
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