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British film industry boosted by 'generous' new tax relief

The British film industry has been given a boost today following the announcement of a "permanent, more generous tax relief" for small productions.
The new tax relief, to be unveiled at a No.11 Downing Street reception for leading representatives of the British film industry, will replace the old Section 48 relief, which is due to expire in July 2005.
Under the scheme, the relief will cover 20% of production costs compared to the 15% covered by the old Section 48 relief, and films with budgets of up to £20 million will be able to benefit, compared to a limit of £15 million under Section 48.
Also, the money will be paid direct to filmmakers, not through third parties, so it will be less open to abuse, the Treasury has said.
Last year was a record year for film production in the UK and employment in the film and video industries has increased by over 75% in the last decade.
Launching the new tax relief, Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo, said: "This new, more generous relief will ensure that the UK continues to be recognised as one of the best places in the world to make a film."
Estelle Morris, Films Minister, said that the relief would ensure that Britain would "remain a major centre for international filmmaking".
John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council, said that today's announcement was "extremely good news" as the new relief would apply to 100% of the film's costs - rather than just the money spent in the UK.
The new relief will come into effect from July next year, but details are being announced today so that the industry can plan the finances of films in development "with confidence about what the tax arrangements will be when those films are completed".

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