Campaign to save tax incentives
The creator of the Section 481 tax incentive, Michael D Higgins, the Irish Labour Party president, has accused the current Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy, of ‘wrecking’ the whole Irish film industry because of his decision to close down Section 481 at the end of December 2004.
Higgins stated that “This tax relief was part of the comprehensive measures I introduced in 1993 as Minister for Arts”, he said. “The initiatives included not just tax reliefs but also funding for the Irish Film Board, and the implementation of detailed studies that demonstrated the employment potential and value of the film industry to the economy”.
“Film activity expanded dramatically in the 1990s”, continued Higgins, “and gross film expenditure is now worth €207m. Meanwhile 4,300 fulltime staff are employed in the industry with the potential for that to reach 18,000 by 2010. Yet all this is jeopardised by Charlie McCreevy’s proposal to end tax-based support for the film industry and in the absence of any alternatives such as direct funding”.
The former Minister for the Arts also said he would continue to pursue the Finance Minister on this matter prior to the December budget and would ask for a public hearing on the subject with film industry representatives and the Irish Department of Finance.
Meanwhile, Movie Extras, the Irish extras casting agency, has joined the rest of the Irish film industry in its campaign to save Section 481, using its website, to explain the ‘film industry crisis’ and urging people to join the campaign.
(Translated from Italian)
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