Taxpayers being fleeced in film industry bidding war

Sat, 03 Nov, 2018

Hard up Kiwi taxpayers are being fleeced as Peter Jackson, James Cameron and other Hollywood bigwigs line their pockets with corporate welfare, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

The New Zealand Herald this morning reported that taxpayers could be making a loss on $1.5 billion in subsidies provided to Hollywood productions through the Screen Production Grant.

“Officials at the Treasury have told the Government that New Zealanders are not receiving value for their money, contradicting a flawed MBIE evaluation.

“This report vindicates ACT’s long-held position that film subsidies should be scrapped.

The Screen Production Grant will have paid out $1.5 billion by 2022.

“It has also come to light that a review of the scheme was scrapped by Economic Development Minister David Parker. Understandably, Mr Parker won’t return the Herald’s calls.

“National and Labour have both eagerly thrown corporate welfare at big Hollywood productions in exchange for photo opportunities and the warm buzz that comes with seeing New Zealand on the big screen.

“New Zealand is engaged in a bidding war for Hollywood production – the only losers in that war will be taxpayers.

“The Screen Production Grant is just the tip of the iceberg. A cursory glance at the welfare handed out by Callaghan Innovation, the Provincial Growth Fund, and other government agencies, shows that taxpayers are being fleeced.

“Only the ACT Party supports ending all corporate welfare and returning the money to taxpayers.”