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Film industry handouts have always been waste of money

Film industry handouts have always been waste of money

2 JULY 2018

The latest scrutiny of taxpayer-funded handouts for film companies vindicates the Taxpayers’ Union’s focus on the issue since 2014.

Taxpayers’ Union Economist Joe Ascroft says “The film industry subsidies highlighted over the weekend in the NZ Herald represent the worst excesses of corporate welfare. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars in a desperate effort to out-run Hollywood will never deliver value to taxpayers.”

“Some of the examples of film industry subsidies are absurd. $1.6 million was given to the producers of Power Rangers so that they would include a New Zealand-born character trying to make a pavlova.”

“The awful truth is that this is just the tip of the iceberg of corporate welfare. When the Government tries to get into business, it makes mistakes, and wastes taxpayers’ money. Taxpayers and businesses would be better off if the Government ended their subsidy regimes and simply passed on the savings as tax cuts.”

The Taxpayers’ Union have released annual reports focused on corporate welfare since 2014. Our latest report, ‘Socialism for the Rich’, showed the annual cost of corporate welfare was $1.6 billion. The report states that “[from] 2004 to 2011, the Treasury estimated taxpayers spent $472 million for net economic benefits of just $13.6 million; an annual return of less than one percent.


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