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UK TV and film industry reacts to Budget statement

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has held the qualifying threshold for high-end TV shows at £1 million

The UK’s TV and film industry has cautiously welcomed the news that the UK government is increasing tax breaks for productions.

In his budget, UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced plans to reform the film and TV relief from a rebate of 25 per cent to a new “expenditure credit” of 34 per cent from January 2024.

Hunt added that the qualifying threshold for high-end TV shows would be held at £1 million.

Ben Roberts, chief executive of the BFI welcomes the news, saying it is a testament to how crucial the TV and film industries are to the UK’s economy and growth.

“Combined with our extraordinary talent, infrastructure and technical and creative expertise the screen sector Tax Reliefs, now remodelled as Expenditure Credits, have supercharged our industry on an unprecedented scale. The news today ensure the UK remains a truly globally competitive production hub, giving us economic recovery and growth, creating thousands of jobs for people up and down the country and enabling creative talent and storytelling to thrive.”

“It’s good news that the high end TV threshold has been preserved,” added Roberts. “I am particularly heartened to see a much-needed boost for children’s television and animation as two areas of cultural and societal importance in which the UK excels creatively, but that still have significant growth potential. I look forward to reading the further detail in the draft legislation that will be published this summer.”

The British Film Commission also welcomed the package of measures and the recognition it demonstrated from the government for the UK’s film and HETV sector.

“With increasingly intense international competition, we’re delighted to welcome this package of measures, future-proofing the UK’s film, High-end TV and animation tax credits and our position as a leading global production hub,” said chief executive Adrian Wootton.

“While much of the detail is yet to be worked through, today’s announcement demonstrates a strong commitment from government to continuing to support the growth of our film and TV sector, creating jobs and opportunities in all four UK nations and region for years to come.”

However, film and TV union Bectu sounded a note of caution, warning the budget was a missed opportunity to solve the fundamental issues preventing the sector achieving its full potential.

“Low pay and precarious conditions across the creative and heritage sectors have resulted in a recruitment and retention crisis that threatens our world-leading position,” said head of Bectu, Phillipa Childs.

“The government must match its support for businesses with a real plan to improve pay and conditions for the creative workforce that is still reeling from the impact of the pandemic.”