Baroness Floella Benjamin writes…Tax break for children’s programmes is great news

I am overjoyed with the wonderful news that the Chancellor has extended tax breaks to children’s television productions. This is something I have campaigned on for years as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children’s Media and the Arts. I have asked questions and spoken on this issue in the House of Lords, supported by Pact (Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television) and the Children’s Media Foundation.

I always say, ‘Childhood lasts a lifetime’ and we can all remember our favourite children’s television programme, they hold fond memories, which are part of our formative years.

But even though children’s programmes are much loved, they are often undervalued and those who contribute to this sector of the creative industries are rarely credited.

I strongly believe children, should be exposed to their culture. Their view of society, through their media experiences, especially UK-produced drama and documentaries, specifically made for them, is vital. And yet production of these type of programmes has been in decline over the last decade or more.

We already have a tax break for animation, so this new tax incentive to support all types of children’s television programming, will be hugely beneficial to the nation’s children’s audience and to our export market. It will also give much needed support to the UK children’s production industry, including our writers, actors, designers and technicians.

Hopefully this announcement will also encourage all the major broadcasters to start commissioning UK- home grown children’s productions- once again, rather than just leaving it up to the BBC to provide for our children’s long term creative well being.

So overall, I am thrilled that the Chancellor has finally recognised the need to support this part of our creative industry and I will be celebrating this welcome change for a long time to come.

* Floella Benjamin is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords

Read more by or more about , , , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • I know nothing about this particular tax break but I agree with much of what Floella says in this article.

    US cultural imperialism invading our children’s TV, animation and computer games has not been a good thing.

    Although I am sure that the the free market fanatics will tell us that there is a great cultural benefit from ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and the like.

    I also agree with Floella that there has been a neglect of creative industries because governments of all stripes seem to be stuck to seeing the world in terms of the employment and industrial patterns of the 1930s. Which is very odd when you consider how UK creative talents have been fantastically successful worldwide over the last 50 years.

    Maybe I am biased as someone who grew up with Bill and Ben, Captain Pugwash, Ivor the Engine etc.

  • Ruth Bright 4th Dec '14 - 4:33pm

    Floella, wow, the woman is a legend.
    She reminds us Lib Dems of a certain age of our lost youth with the Gang of Four – no not Roy, Shirley, Bill and David but Humpty, Hamble, Big and Little Ted!

  • Tsar Nicolas 6th Dec '14 - 11:32am

    @John Tilley

    You are right about American cultural imperialism, but British TV still produces some gems, like ‘Horrible Histories.’ One of the few shows to suss out the fact that 5/11 was indeed an inside job.

    That’s 5/11, not 9/11.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarThomas 9th Apr - 12:28pm
    Phil Beesley - " Supply chains. In the UK today it is easier to buy underwear from Indonesia than a packet of paracetamol. We know...
  • User AvatarTom Harney 9th Apr - 12:23pm
    Thank you for this, Mary. I read it each time. It has become an addiction. Today the issue of Zoom, Skype and so on interested...
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 9th Apr - 12:19pm
    Resisting infringements of liberties caused by public health emergencies such as Covid 19 is not as easy as those around security because health is so...
  • User AvatarThomas 9th Apr - 12:18pm
    TCO - it's pretty clear that the majority of Libdem members are left-leaning, whereas people like you are in the minority.
  • User AvatarTom Harney 9th Apr - 12:10pm
    I would query whether the actions on the virus are authoritarian. If the large majority of the population either support restrictions or say they should...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 9th Apr - 11:17am
    @ JoeB, An interesting study of street crime! it's likely going to be much the same story in the UK as the USA. Many of...
Mon 27th Apr 2020