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UK kids biz urges tax break action

A major UK children’s TV lobbying group has welcomed government comments that suggest tax breaks for live-action kids series could be forthcoming.

Anne HomeIn an open letter to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, The Children’s Media Foundation urged the tax breaks be committed to in the UK’s Autumn Statement, which outlines government spending and taxation plans.

Osborne last week said he was “looking very seriously” into the possibility of tax breaks for the live-action children’s TV sector. Similar schemes have already been introduced for animation, hour-long drama and video games.

“The CMF has been a long-standing advocate of the value to society contributed by the creative industries and the importance of the UK’s diverse communities hearing their own voices,” the letter read. “This is particularly true in the case of children, who receive much of their culture and their view of society through their media experiences. “

“UK-produced drama and documentaries, specifically made for the children’s audience, are genres which have been in decline in recent years. A tax incentive to support these and other children’s television programming, to add to the one already in place for animation, would be of huge and immediate benefit to the children’s audience and ultimately to society as a whole, as well as giving much needed support to the UK children’s production industry.”

Signatories on the letter included writer Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who, Wizards Vs Aliens), Roald Dahl illustrator Quentin Blake, producer Lord Puttnam, and a host of children’s TV execs such as Anne Wood (Teletubbies, In the Night Garden) and ex-Zodiak Kids UK chief Nigel Pickard.

Actors, UK children’s poet laureate Malorie Blackman, presenters and academics also signed the letter, which former BBC Children’s boss Anne Home (pictured), who is the CMF chairman, penned.