Extension of tax relief urged as Government publishes €200m plan for film industry

Blueprint aims to double employment and turnover in audiovisual sector in five years

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan at the launch of the Government’s Audiovisual Action Plan. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan at the launch of the Government’s Audiovisual Action Plan. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

The Government has launched a €200 million plan aimed at doubling employment in the audiovisual industry in five years.

Ireland will become a global centre of excellence in the screen industry as production and turnover increases over the lifetime of the plan, it is envisaged.

The extension of Section 481 tax relief and the inclusion of the games sector in the scheme is also mooted.

The sector was worth nearly €1.1 billion to the Irish economy in 2016, employing almost 17,000 people.

The plan, launched by Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan on Wednesday, envisages increased capital funding for film and more training for film workers.

The Minister said the Government is committed to reaching the ambitious target in the action plan. A steering group reporting to her is to oversee implementation.

Chairman of Screen Producers Ireland John Gormley called for the extension of Section 481 - “a key driver of the Irish screen industry success story”. He said a review of the tax incentive was vital because aspects were not working satisfactorily, including unacceptable delays with payments and the processing of applications.

Minister Madigan acknowledged the administrative problems, and said her department, Revenue and the Department of Finance were working on them. Section 481 was being reviewed by the Department of Finance and it would make an announcement in the Budget.