John McVay, the chief executive of cinema and TV industry body Pact, will give evidence to the House of Lords Communications Committee inquiry into British Film and TV.
The Committee will question McVay on the prospects for the UK film and TV industries and the impact of the current tax incentives on the UK film industry. He will be accompanied by up to two others from Pact’s film policy group.
McVay said, ‘We will be focussing on what we think is the problem with the current UK tax credit. We have called on the government to change that as soon as possible so that producers can finance films without having one hand tied behind their backs.’
Under current legislation, productions filmed abroad with a British crew and actors that are paid UK salaries are not eligible for the tax credit. This also covers equipment bought in the UK but used abroad. UKFC figures show that UK co-productions have almost halved from 52 in 2006 to 29 in 2007.
McVay said that he had already raised his concerns with the Treasury and that amending the tax credit would not cost any more money than had already beenallocated for it.
Last week, UKFC chief executive John Woodward and chairman Stewart Till also gave evidence to the committee. Woodward said that the UKFC has recommended that the remit of the tax relief is extended to it will also apply to productions made outside of the UK.
A House of Lords spokesperson described the inquiry as a ‘scoping exercise’. She said ‘the plan would be to finish the inquiry by the end of the year’. The committee will then prepare a report for the House of Lords and may make recommendations or could call for a debate in the house. Any recommendations could be implemented by the Government.