General election: what the media and entertainment industry really needs
The general election manifestos appear to have overlooked some major challenges facing the media and entertainment industry.
The UK tax system is weighted against people working in the industry, and needs to be changed for the UK to encourage and retain our world beating creatives.
Most individuals working in film, television and theatre by the very nature of the industry can have wildly fluctuating income. They can frequently move from paying tax one year to not paying any tax the next. This is not simply because they have work one year and not the next. A creative individual can have continuous work, but their income depends on the source of work, for example film, television, adverts or theatre, and it’s this which gives the fluctuating income.
What we really need is a means of smoothing income tax liabilities, such as allowing people in the industry to carry back or carry forward their unused basic rate tax allowance from one year to the next.
Funding constraints are another key issue – some funding is missing completely, and where it is available, it isn’t necessarily directed in the right way. Media and entertainment is one of the most important industries in the country, and the government needs to explore new ideas to enable it to thrive.
Too much funding is going to build and develop theatres when it should be invested in the talent. How about a cultural fund supporting repertory theatre companies to tour all parts of the UK? This could enhance our children’s education through better access to productions, develop talent, provide employment and so much more.
For further information please contact David Coppard, Head of media and entertainment sector team