HC Deb 07 February 1994 vol 237 c8
8. Ms Lynne

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when an announcement will be made on the Government's policy toward the British film industry.

Mr. Brooke

I shall make an announcement when conclusions have been reached on the various options that emerged from last year's consultation round with representatives of the industry. It is unlikely to be before Easter.

Ms Lynne

Would not accelerating tax relief on film production costs encourage more films to be produced in this country and thereby, in the long term, put more money into the Treasury coffers?

Mr. Brooke

That suggestion was made to us during the consultation period. The specific question is for my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but we shall discuss with other Departments our overall response to the consultations.

Sir Anthony Durant

Will my right hon. Friend reassure the film industry that, in the disbursement of the lottery money, which I believe will be done by the Arts Council, its wishes will not be ignored?

Mr. Brooke

My hon. Friend is right to raise that question. The guidance afforded by myself to the Arts Council includes reference to film and the need for the Arts Council not only to take film into account in its decisions about distribution but to decide how it will receive expert advice on those decisions.