There\’s your deficit right there

More than 585 films, including the Harry Potter movies, have benefited from the tax breaks which have cost £570?billion over the past decade.

If we weren\’t splurging a £billion a film we\’d have paid off quite a lot of the national debt.

Sadly the Telegraph is out by three orders of magnitude….

8 comments on “There\’s your deficit right there

  1. Terrifyingly, a Potter movie does come in at a quarter of a bil. Luckily, most British films are still made for 50p and a bag of crisps (or, in the case of films staring Mr James Corden, a truck of crisps), so the average tax break per flick is indeed just a million.

  2. A decimal point is a floating point (to a journo), so put it where you like. Remember, NEVER let the facts get in the way.

  3. Richard

    I guess because if you offer a tax break to encourage people to do a thing you want them to do, then you have to offer it to everyone who wants to do that thing.

    Whether or not we think that filmmaking in the UK should get a tax break (or is it a subsidy? assuming we’re not taking the R. Murphy definition of a subsidy here) is moot.. but we can’t decide that they don’t by pointing at the great successes. Indeed… perhaps the fact that the Harry Potter films were filmed in the UK is, rather, a perfect example of how the relevant break/subsidy is a good thing. If we didn’t have special treatment for films, would they have been filmed here at all and, so, rather than support for the movie industry being an example of the state getting involved in things that the state should not get involved in.. is it an example of the state lessening a tax burden and, consequently, encouraging tax-positive activity which, otherwise, would have happened elsewhere.

  4. @ John B “The average tax break per flick is…a million” . Could you direct me to your supporting evidence? Thanks.

  5. The tax breaks could be quite rational, and revenue-enhancing in a Laffer-curve manner, if it means the activity happens here thus some tax is paid here on some of those activities, rather than elsewhere (and there are plenty of places you can make films with far cheaper crew and lower taxes still), thus no tax paid here.

    Though I am not sure how, if you set up a busniess, you pay tax on making a film anyway. The making of the film is a cost – if you just make a film you will lose money, and losses are tax-ofsettable. You make money by showing people the film, not by making it.

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