New Zealand First has obtained documents from the Prime Minister’s office that show nobody has any idea how many jobs have been created by the $67 million state subsidy for Warner Brothers and The Hobbit movies.
Rt Hon Winston Peters says that now the first movie has grossed more than $1 billion, Warner Brothers should repay the $67 million subsidy the movie moguls sucked from Kiwi taxpayers.
“The Government claims that filming The Hobbit in New Zealand created an extra 3000 jobs and this was value for money to taxpayers but documents (attached) from John Key’s office show this figure was plucked out of thin air.
“Questions have to be answered about how many of these jobs existed prior to filming, how many of them will exist once the final film has premiered, and how many of these jobs actually went to New Zealanders.
“There is no doubt now that the deal with the movie industry was more about lining pockets than creating jobs.”
Mr Peters says that struggling Kiwis who are being laid off work every week are right to ask the Government when they can expect the flow on effects of the $67 million to reach them.
“Local industries would also be right to ask the Prime Minister how the film industry fat cats deserve millions of dollars in tax breaks because they are on a ‘worldwide playing field’, yet somehow that same logic does not apply to our manufacturing industry.
“Warner Brothers should now do the decent thing and pay back the subsidies so local industries that create long term jobs get a fair deal,” says Mr Peters.