The British film industry was given a boost by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown yesterday (22MAR06) when he relaxed tax laws on films made in the country. A number of studios have abandoned Britain in recent years after laws were tightened, and the cost of making movies in the UK shot up. Even Britain's most famous movie character James Bond was forced to emigrate to eastern Europe for financial reasons. But Brown has ruled production houses spending 25 per cent of a film's budget in the UK will be able to enjoy a new tax credit, announced in the Government's new budget. Movies with budgets of up to GBP20 million ($34 million) will be able to earn a tax credit of 20 per cent. Bigger budget movies will earn 16 per cent - so a GBP50 million ($85 million) movie would have a qualifying expenditure of GBP40 million ($68 million), making producers GBP8 million ($14 million) better off. British Film Council boss JOHN WOODWARD says, "Lowering of the minimum UK expenditure threshold is great news as more films will be in a position to qualify for tax relief. "It provides the certainty the industry needs to operate and will help the UK consolidate its position as the most important film industry in the world after the US."