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Pact asks for tax relief for kids TV content in the UK

MUMBAI: Pact is launching a campaign to persuade government of the business and wider economic benefits that would come from a tax break for children’s television production in the UK.

The trade association for the UK’s independent TV production companies believes that the tax credits agreed by government in recent years for film, high-end television and animation have proven there is a case for a similar scheme in children’s TV.

Pact CEO John McVay said, “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. From a commercial perspective, it is time that children’s TV was recognised in the same echelon of television production as our finest drama.

“The tax reliefs for high-end TV, animation and for film have demonstrated a keen willingness from the government to support our creative industries. Our children’s television production is respected worldwide and we hope that ministers will agree that this is a special part of cultural heritage that is worth government’s support.”

Pact is an official sponsor of the 2014 Children’s Media Conference and this summer it will produce a session for the event in Sheffield. The focus of the session, for up to 900 of the UK’s children’s media professionals, will be the campaign for a children’s TV tax credit, bringing together key stakeholders to distil the financial and cultural arguments.

Pact has a strong history of successful campaigning for the independent sector, including the tax reliefs agreed in 2013 for animation and high-end TV.

A new tax relief for children’s television could help boost co-production opportunities, particularly with the US market, as well as improve TV exports.

McVay added that government officials were aware of the case for broadening tax reliefs in television production and the potential wider economic benefits. “Pact has always fought for children’s TV producers, which play a huge part in the success of our sector. The indie production sector is recognised as one of the UK’s major economic success stories – it has grown four-fold in less than 10 years, and a significant proportion of the 500 companies represented by Pact either specialises in kids’ TV or they are active in children’s TV production. A tax relief for children’s TV would help boost the sector, nurture talent and create new employment opportunities.”