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Extension of Section 481 a welcome rational decision

3 December, 2003

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Culture Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed the Government's extension of the Section 481 Film Industry Tax Relief until 2008 as a "rational decision to save a vibrant Irish industry," but maintained that the Government's plan to raise the ceiling to €15 million from 2005 was insufficient to attract the big budget films that are the biggest earners for the local economy.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"While I believe that the ceiling should have been at least doubled to €21 million, I certainly welcome that Minister McCreevy looked at the evidence of the 3:1 return on investment, and the thousands of jobs that were at stake had he proceeded with his plan to eliminate Section 481, and finally saw reason. I also welcome that the Minister for Arts John O'Donoghue eventually took this issue on board after intense lobbying by the sector and by opposition politicians such as myself.

"The ordinary workers in the film sector who were galvanised into action by the bid to save their industry are to be congratulated for a well-organised and successful campaign. But others were not so lucky -- the most vulnerable people in this state did not get an eleventh hour reprieve. However, the film workers have proved the value of one important maxim: don't mourn -- organise. Their efforts and success in this regard is something I want to see replicated by other sectors that are differentially impacted or threatened by this Government's successive budgets and by the cuts that will still go ahead in 2004." ENDS

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