The campaign to secure tax breaks for high-end UK drama looks set for victory,with sources suggesting the Chancellor will announce the scheme in next week’s Budget.
It is believed that George Osbourne will announce that drama with a budget in excess of £1m per hour will benefit from a 25% credit. It is understood the scheme will operate in the same way as the Film Tax Relief, whereby films must either pass a points-based cultural test or qualify as an official British co-production.
It remains unclear whether the Animation UK lobby will meet with similar success. A Treasury spokesman said he would not comment on Budget speculation.
The majority of high-end British drama is filmed overseas as producers are forced to take advantage of tax credits in countries such as South Africa and Hungary in order to get films made. It results in a flight of capital and talent out of the UK.
A report produced by RSM Tenon and law firm Wiggin and submitted to the DCMS claimed that tax breaks would result in around £350m per year of extra TV drama production, which, based on standard multiplier figures, would boost the UK economy by around £1bn per year.
The figures, resulting from research with leading UK and international producers, were based on scripted TV production with a minimum budget of £1m per hour.
Broadcast reported exclusively last month that the DCMS had written to the Treasury calling on Osbourne to implement the measure, having been persuaded by the report and lobby groups.
Last week, Broadcast reported that US drama heavyweights such as HBO and Starz had joined the campaign.
A foreign delegation, including the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Chancellor are currently on their way back from a visit to the US.
This story first appeard on Broadcast.