Why tax breaks for commercial theatre?

coherent arts policyThe Stage reports (and I repost the story in full here):

Tax breaks for the theatre industry to be introduced this autumn could bring in £100 million for commercial theatre and £20 million for touring productions in coming years, Arts Council England’s chair PeterBazalgette has said.

He said the initiative was a “highly significant move” from the government, whose film tax credit scheme has far exceeded original estimations that it would bring in £60 million investment a year, with the figure estimated to be worth £260 million annually. “Think about if that transferred to theatre,” Bazalgette said.

In his Budget in March, chancellor George Osborne confirmed producers of touring shows would be able to claim 25% tax relief, while other productions would be eligible for a 20% tax credit.

Speaking at UK Theatre’s annual meeting this week, Bazalgette said the extension of the credits to the theatre sector represented the emergence of a coherent policy for the creative industries as a whole.

“If we seize the opportunity, it’s going to be highly significant within the context of the creative industries because there is already a tax credit for film, TV dramas and computer games. Now we need more coherent policies in other areas,” he added.

I posted on this policy a few weeks ago, asking what is the goal of the policy? And I still don’t see it. The way this story is written, it looks like the single goal, and metric of success, is to transfer funds. How it is a “highly significant move”, or how it is “coherent”, still eludes me.

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