Byline: MAURICE FITZMAURICE
NORTHERN Ireland could be a mecca for big budget TV productions thanks to Tory tax breaks announced yesterday.
Film-makers in the region said incentives for high-end production, animation and video games was a "bold move that will have a considerable positive impact on the economy".
The measures come after HBO's Game Of Thrones has filmed two series here and is set for two more this year. Richard Williams, from Northern Ireland Screen, said the region "is extremely well placed to benefit from these new incentives" and his film agency "will double its efforts in its promotion of the industry here".
Stormont Finance Minister Sammy Wilson also welcomed the film tax breaks. But the DUP MLA added the Chancellor "held back" on infrastructure spend which would have meant jobs "rather than spending money to pay unemployment benefit".
And reacting to the cut to top-rate taxpayers he said: "At a time of austerity the Government has taken a decision to cut the tax paid by the top 2% of taxpayers. The Treasury's own figures show this will release pounds 3billion to these 2% while many families cannot heat their homes or even buy food."
But the East Antrim MP said that "the most divisive proposal within the Budget however relates to regional pay proposals". …