Thursday, 8 October 2020

Questions (134)

Brendan Griffin


134. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the amount of funding provided to Irish film production since 2010; if she will increase the amount for 2021; if she has sought to expand the range of productions subject to tax reliefs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29420/20]

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Written answers (Question to Tourism)

Government policy supports the film and television sector in a number of ways to create an attractive environment for film production including through international film co-production treaties, through the Section 481 tax credit and through funding for Screen Ireland. Screen Ireland is the development agency for the Irish film, television and animation industry and comes within the aegis of my Department. Annual funding to Screen Ireland (known as the Irish Film Board until June 2018) since 2010 is set out below:

Year Current Capital Total

2010 €2,772,000 €16,500,000 €19,272,000

2011 €2,431,000 €16,000,000 €18,431,000

2012 €2,540,000 €13,150,000 €15,690,000

2013 €2,960,000 €11,898,000 €14,858,000

2014 €2,760,000 €11,202,000 €13,962,000

2015 €2,760,000 €11,752,000 €14,512,000

2016 €3,269,000 €12,302,000 €15,571,000

2017 €3,786,000 €12,702,000 €16,488,000

2018 €3,820,000 €14,202,000 €18,022,000

2019 €3,840,000 €16,200,000 €20,040,000

2020 €3,840,000 €20,200,000 €24,040,000

In July this year, I was pleased to announce an additional €3 million in to Screen Ireland to support TV drama, bringing its total capital allocation for the year to over €20 million. Support is also provided to the Irish film production sector in the form of the section 481 tax credit and details of the beneficiaries of that funding are available from the Revenue Commissioners website at

Any changes to section 481 are a matter for the Minister for Finance, as is Budget 2021. However, I as Minister, take every opportunity at Government and with my Ministerial colleagues to highlight the importance and value of the culture and audiovisual sectors and the benefits of increasing public investment in them. My Department is working to implement the Audiovisual Action Plan, which includes recommendations in respect of section 481, and is part of a high level steering group with representatives from across the Government, including the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Finance. Last year, a number of changes in respect of section 481 were introduced: in July 2019, the EU Commission gave approval in respect of two aspects of Ireland's tax credit: the extension of the Section 481 credit until 2024 which provides certainty for film production companies on the future availability of the credit, ensuring the continued growth of our film industry; and the introduction of the Regional Film Development Uplift which offers an additional tapered tax credit over a period of 4 years and supports the development of a vibrant creative audio-visual sector across the country. Changes were also made to the section 481 Certification process and since 2019 the film tax credit now operates on a self–assessment basis. 2019 also saw the introduction of a new category of qualifying production “Short film of feature quality”. The Steering Group will continue to keep section 481 under review over the lifetime of the Audiovisual Action Plan.