Plea for Children's tax credit successful
Representatives from the children's creative industries in the UK have sent an open letter to the Chancellor urging him to commit to a children's television tax break in today's Autumn Statement. Hours later their wishes have come true.
In the Treasury's Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne announced the introduction of a tax credit for children's TV, a move welcomed by the industry.
Only hours earlier, an open letter from the Children's Media Foundation to George Osborne - which supported recent comments made by the Chancellor about the importance of the UK's children's production industry - asked the minister to undertake action.
The Children's Media Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to ensuring UK children have the best possible media choices, on all platforms and at all ages
Their list of signatories is pretty impressive, and includes: Russell T Davies and Cressida Cowell, writer and illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, children's laureate Malorie Blackman, film producer Lord Puttnam, former Play School presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin, children's television execs Anna Home, Anne Wood and Nigel Pickard, actors James Bolam and Susan Jameson and leading academics including Professor Máire Messenger Davies, Professor Jackie Marsh, Professor Lydia Plowman, Professor Sonia Livingstone, Professor David Buckingham and Professor Jeanette Steemers.
(You can read the letter in full below)
Pact chief executive, John McVay, whose organisation also championed the same cause, said: "I am delighted that the Chancellor has listened to both the economic and cultural case for a tax credit.
"Nowhere in the world does better kids' TV than the UK. Time and time again, British TV producers have created the most successful, innovative and creative programmes for children.
"We have seen how successful a tax break for animation has been and we look forward to the boost it will give to children's live-action TV - it will make a real difference."
Live-action programmes are largely drama, factual and factual entertainment shows, and include educational and schools programming.
The details of the tax credit will be announced in the next few days.
Letter from the Children's Media Foundation:
The Children's Media Foundation was delighted to read in the report of your recent speech at the launch of the new Creative Industries Federation that you are 'looking very seriously' at extending tax breaks to children's television production.
Children's TV is much loved but often undervalued.
The CMF has been a long-standing advocate of the value to society contributed by the creative industries and the importance of the UK's diverse communities hearing their own voices. This is particularly true in the case of children, who receive much of their culture and their view of society through their media experiences.
UK-produced drama and documentaries, specifically made for the children's audience, are genres which have been in decline in recent years. A tax incentive to support these and other children's television programming, to add to the one already in place for animation, would be of huge and immediate benefit to the children's audience and ultimately to society as a whole, as well as giving much needed support to the UK children's production industry.
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