UK film industry needs tax stability says Jowell

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell has said it is important that the UK film industry receives ‘stability’ amid uncertainty surrounding tax breaks for films.

Speaking from the Cannes film festival with the news that the new James Bond film, Casino Royale, could leave the UK to film in the Czech Republic, the minister said that the government was ‘reviewing’ the tax regime for larger productions.

‘The need for stability is why the current tax relief system will stay in place for lower-budget films until 2006,’ she added.

Jowell, who is in Cannes to take part in a European Union organised film summit, said the film industry was one of the UK’s ‘great success stories’, but that the government was ‘conscious of the need to provide stability’.

‘Some US film investors have been deterred after the government announced plans for a new tax credit to replace the existing relief for lower budget movies.’

She added that ‘everything possible’ was being done to ensure that the production of the new Bond film was made in the UK. Traditionally, Bond films have been based at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

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