'For this relief much thanks.' Taxation, film policy and the UK government

Magor, M. and Schlesinger, P. (2009) 'For this relief much thanks.' Taxation, film policy and the UK government. Screen, 50(3), pp. 299-317. (doi:10.1093/screen/hjp017)

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Abstract

In 2006, the Treasury introduced a new Film Tax Credit for British productions. Fiscal incentives in the form of tax credits are now regarded as fundamental to the sustainability of the British film industry. In addition to benefiting indigenous filmmaking, an attractive tax credit structure is seen as promoting inward investment, chiefly from the USA, and is seen as important for maintaining the work force and organisational capacity in the British film industry. Securing the continuity of the skills base is at the heart of the UK Government's drive to make the ‘creative economy’ better fitted for global competition. However, in that broader context, film has been – and remains – a special case, as it is not presently Government creative economy policy to use fiscal measures for other industries. We argue that in seeking solutions to longstanding problems of ‘sustainability’, contemporary UK policy is conditioned by its long history of economic intervention in film production – and has been an important precursor of today's creative industries policy. Furthermore, in current global conditions, it is crucial to consider the fundamental cross-currents set in train by the competing demands of US inward investment and EU regulation. By undertaking interviews with key players as well as examining evidence in the public domain, this article analyses the complex politics that has shaped the implementation of this policy. We argue that film policy research needs the added depth that such sociological analysis brings to the table. In particular, this empirical approach gives insights into how the low politics of lobbying and inter-departmental rivalry shape present policy outcomes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Magor, Dr Maggie and Schlesinger, Professor Philip
Authors: Magor, M., and Schlesinger, P.
Subjects:J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Screen
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0036-9543
ISSN (Online):1460-2474
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 Oxford University Press
First Published:First published in Screen 2009 50(3):299-317
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
447241Creativity - policy and practice. A study of government, the BBC and UK Film CouncilPhilip SchlesingerArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)112152/1CCA - THEATRE FILM AND TV STUDIES