Country Focus: Ireland
Bord snips Irish Film Board
by Naman Ramachandran
17/07/2009 - The Irish film industry was thrown into turmoil with the publication of the Department of Finance’s An Bord Snip Nua Group’s recommendations of drastic cuts in the film sector. In effect, the Irish Film Board (IFB) could cease to exist, with its functions transferred to a new enterprise agency.
The report stated, “The Group considers that continued funding of the Irish Film Board is not affordable at this time in the context of other more pressing spending priorities. Given the scale of tax expenditure (€418m since 1993 and €33m in 2008) via the tax incentive scheme for this sector, and given the level of international competition in this market space, there is no objective economic case for subventing the Irish Film Industry. The Group considers that film development is similar to enterprise development activities in other sectors (e.g. manufacturing, services, tourism etc).
“It concludes that the enterprise promotion and development activities of the Irish Film Board should be transferred to the new enterprise agency, which incorporates a restructured Enterprise Ireland and the enterprise development functions of a range of other existing agencies. The Group also recommends discontinuation of the dedicated investment fund. Overall, these proposals should lead to a staff reduction of about 17 positions.”
The Group estimates that transferring the IFB’s functions to Enterprise Ireland will result in an annual saving of €3m. The discontinuation of the investment fund will save €17.3m per annum.
In addition, the Group also recommends transferring the Irish Film Classification Office into the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.