One week before the UK election, theruling Labour Party has published a business manifesto outlining how it willsupport the creative industries if it wins a third term.

Two of the key pledges concerning thefilm industry centre on tackling piracy and securing tax incentives for filmproduction.

In a statement published yesterday(April 28), the Labour Party said that if elected it will:

- "Take tougher action to tackle theestimated £4.5bn a year in intellectual property infringement and theft withnew powers to Trading Standards officers to increase fines and recoup lossesfrom copyright pirates and offenders.

- "Secure tax incentives for filmproduction, enter into improved co-production agreements, taking action toimprove skill levels and promoting film festivals so that Britain continues tobe one of the leading nations making films."

Labour's Trade and Industry SecretaryPatricia Hewitt said: "Taken as a whole the creative industries make a hugecontribution to our economy, as well as to our social and cultural life. Theyproduce a higher proportion of our total wealth - 8% of GDP - than anywhereelse in the world. The £11.4 billion they contribute to our balance of trade iswell ahead of the construction industry, insurance and pensions, and twice thatof the pharmaceutical sector."

Lavinia Carey, chair of the industrycoalition The Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy said: "The protectionof intellectual property is vital if we are to be successful in encouragingcreativity, innovation and enterprise."