Dutch Tax Incentives Fail to Spur Animation Production

Bob Lincoln April 1, 2012 0

Stiff wooden shoes keep Dutch worker productivity at safe, manageable levels.

Despite a 5-year stimulus plan aimed at spurring growth in the Dutch animation and visual effects industries, tax incentives and production-matching funds have failed to generate any discernible increase in production capacity or job growth.  According to a Finance Ministry spokesperson, the initial hope of the program, to expand the country’s entertainment production profile in the face or explosive growth in France, Germany and the UK, soon dissipated when the reality of the government subsidy program became apparent to the targeted production companies. “There’s only about 60 guys and a handful of young ladies working in these industries.  They’re pretty happy with things the way they are. They weren’t very thrilled about the prospect of expanding their businesses.”

One animation director who spoke on the condition of anonymity explained the heart of the problem. “More money for productions means we have to make more films.  We already put in 32 hours per week as it is. If I do more productions, I have to hire more people.  That means I have to get another bike rack and possibly another refrigerator in the break room. The system just can’t handle any additional production stress.  It will break!”

A vote is planned next month in the Lower House on whether or not to apportion the production subsidy funds to a newly proposed program to monitor and manage marriages between cousins.  The cabinet recently decided to continue to allow marriages between cousins in cases where they are not forced and both partners are over the age of 12.

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