Labour to devise tax treats for creative Britain

A promise by the Labour party to stimulate the creative industries through greater focus on creative individuals hailing from low or middle-income backgrounds appears a step closer to being kept.

Although the details are yet to be disclosed, shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis was yesterday understood to have appointed an ex-accountant to devise a scheme of financial incentives for creatives.

Loosely modelled on the film tax relief regime, which is seen as a success for attracting investment in the UK, the scheme from the accountant, Patrick McKenna, is likely to be the showpiece of “an industrial strategy” for the creative industries.

This is what Mr Lewis let on to the Guardian as being the Labour party’s objective – seemingly underpinned by getting entrepreneurs to stay invested in their creative business or the creative industry, as opposed to cashing in by selling out.

Cue the tax framework Mr McKenna must devise, in order to take Britain’s creative output beyond only “a handful of global businesses and lots of micro businesses,” in a predominately US-led sector.

In explaining his vision to the paper, Mr Lewis denounced the coalition’s decision to drop a similar tax incentive scheme for the video games sector, which the government claimed was not viable because of Britain’s financial problems.

The MP for Bury South reflected: “The fact remains that Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberals all went into the election planning to introduce a games [tax] break and it hasn't been introduced."


8th September 2011

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