Animation UK has been keeping up the momentum of its tax credits campaign with an eleventh-hour meeting with the Treasury.
The lobby group met with chancellor George Osborne and Exchequer secretary David Gauke, who is responsible for shaping tax policy, last week. Culture minister Ed Vaizey was also present.
Led by chairman Oli Hyatt, the animators put forward the various economic and cultural arguments, highlighting the economic growth, inward investment, IP and jobs that could be created if the “distorted” tax regime were changed.
It was the “culmination of two years’ work”, said Hyatt. “We have given ourselves the best possible chance and we are firmly on the agenda. The Treasury is going to give our industry very careful consideration. We came away feeling hugely positive about the whole thing – we are certain we are past the stage of them just paying us lip service.”
Animation UK is now planning approaches to backbench MPs, whom it is hoped can keep the issue high on the government’s list of priorities. The group has already received assurances from several politicians that they will boost the issue’s profile ahead of the Budget on 21 March.
Cities of London and Westminster MP Mark Field, who has been supporting the campaign since it started, told Broadcast: “We have done our bit and are keeping our fingers crossed that it will be good news. The tax credit has support across the parties, so if it is proposed by the government, there is no question it would go through.
All that remains is to see whether the Treasury can be convinced.” The All Party Group for Children, Media and the Arts, chaired by Floella Benjamin, is hosting a reception at Westminster this month to highlight the problems facing the animation sector.
This story was first published on Broadcast.