Government Audiovisual Plan high on aspiration, low on action - Peadar Tóibín TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Peadar Tóibín TD has said he was disappointed that the Government Audiovisual Action Plan launched by Minister Josepha Madigan today was heavy on spin and light on substance with no mention of tackling certain major issues in the industry.
Deputy Tóibín, who is Cathaoirleach of the Committee of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, which is shortly due to publish a report on the Working Conditions within the Film Industry, said:
“The film industry is undoubtedly an incredibly important sector in this country and it is in good health. Ireland is great location we have plenty of skilled workers. However, there is huge room for improvement.
“While I welcome any attempt to boost the audiovisual industry in the State, this plan is more aspiration than action. There is little that is new in this. The increase in capital funding was already announced in Project 2040 in April as was much of the broader detail of this current plan.
“There is significant demand for greater infrastructure supporting the film industry in this state but there are no actual guarantees or time bound commitments in this document.
“While a review of Section 481, the tax incentive for film and TV production was included, there was no mention of how the manner in which Section 481 is delivered can affect employment conditions for certain workers in the film industry. Section 481 is central to the development and the sector and has the support of the vast majority of stakeholders but there is room for improvement.
“There must be a new Film Forum under the auspices of the Irish Film Board where stakeholders can investigate mechanisms to facilitate flexibility within the sector where it is sought but to also reduce precarious working conditions amongst some workers.
"Craft grades within the sector should be able to nominate representatives on to the Irish Film Board. Training must be professionalised so that workers within the sector are not forced into repeat training positions.
“We are also seeking the further integration of the film industry on a North/South basis with the creation of formal North/South structures, development plans and investment. There is no such mention of this in the government’s plan."