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IBEC's Economic Impact Report for 2002
28 Nov 2003 :
Figures for 2002, announced today, Friday 28th November, by the IBEC Audiovisual Federation at the launch of its report, “Film Production in Ireland – Audiovisual Review 2003”, continue a trend (since 1993) that has seen a significant net return to the Exchequer. Revenue for the Government exceeded the tax forgone through Section 481 tax relief by €21.2 million. The Audiovisual Federation is of the view that these economic indicators reinforce the benefits of Section 481 funding, both to the sector and to the national economy. A total of €122.6 million was spent on Irish goods and services by an industry that contributes to Irish life, both culturally and economically, and that may soon find itself at a huge competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis other potential locations due to a lack of tax incentives.

John Cummins, Chairman of IBEC’s Audiovisual Federation, commented “The audiovisual federation welcomes these generally positive indicators and feel that they reflect the developing expertise and competencies of the Irish industry. We would hope that a renewal of Section 481 relief can be achieved...” Mr Cummins went on to say, “The proposed removal of Section 481 tax relief would greatly undermine our competitive position in relation to other countries e.g. the UK currently has 3 separate production based incentives. This is the critical issue for industry going forward.”

A total of 148 productions in 2002 were examined by the report. These include the highly acclaimed films In America produced by Jim Sheridan, Song for a Raggy Boy, and Veronica Guerin. Intermission starring Colin Farrell is also enjoying international box office success. It was produced in late 2002, early 2003 and will appear in the 2003 report. A successful year for the animation sector, 2002 saw productions such as Derrick and The Oscar Wilde Trilogy. Indigenous and TV productions included Bachelor’s Walk, On Home Ground, and Ros na Rún. The increase in licence fee funding for RTÉ has seen significant new productions such as The Clinic being commissioned.

In 2003 King Arthur produced by Jerry Bruckheimer with a budget of approx. €115 million is the largest film ever to be based in Ireland. According to James Flynn of Octagon Films, who chairs the Federation’s Film Financing Committee “the section 481 tax incentive had a large bearing on the location of this and other projects, such as Ridley Scott’s Tristan and Isolde, in Ireland”. Mr Flynn went on to say that “a long term commitment to Section 481 will greatly assist the profile of Ireland in the US and lead to continued inward investment into the Irish Economy. This investment supports well paid, highly skilled jobs and provides a 3:1 return on Government’s investment in Section 481.”

Tommy McCabe, Director of the Audiovisual Federation commented that “ten years have passed since three initiatives combined to make Ireland a competitive location for screen production. The reconstitution of the film board, the establishment of the RTE Independent Production Unit and the extension of Section 481 film investment incentive all took place in 1993. If the sector is appropriately supported its development will continue for another ten years, the Audiovisual Federation calls on Government to ensure this by renewing Section 481 in the upcoming budget”





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