Post sponsored by

Source: Taxpayers Union

Lights, camera, spending!
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the scale and value of the Government’s $230m screen industry recovery package.Union spokesperson Jordan Williams says: “The official justification for this ‘recovery package’ is the impact of COVID-19 on film, television and radio production. Other industries that were hit far worse, such as tourism, hospitality and retail, will rightly be wondering where their recovery packages are. Perhaps they do not offer enough photo opportunities for Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.”“There is a strong focus in the package on international productions, particularly films. There is the inconvenient fact that New Zealand’s borders are effectively closed to non-citizens and non-residents. The Government has indicated this situation will continue for a considerable time. Exemptions can be made for people working on films but this risks losing public goodwill if foreign movie executives can come in but nurses and teachers cannot.”“Tucked away in the package is $25m for Pacific, student and disability media “to make sure diverse audiences could get the information they need.” Once again, COVID-19 is used as the justification. With New Zealand at level 1 and following the Government’s extensive and expensive information scheme, it is hard to see why $25m extra funding is needed by these favoured businesses.”