I don’t often buy a newspaper when out of the country but on a day when the temperature was above 90 degrees decided that a wee break in the shade with a newspaper was a good idea.

The date was 21 September and I (rather stupidly) thought that the furore over the referendum vote would have receded somewhat and that there would be other snippets of news to be had. Well it hadn’t and there weren’t so instead, and bear in mind that I try to leave everything concerning tax behind when on holiday, I actually found myself relieved to get to the financial pages where I found the following headline ‘HMRC: May the £8 million force be with you’.

Now it would appear that whilst the rest of us are grateful for the wee tax breaks available to us (those that HMRC haven’t closed down) Disney, yes the AMERICAN media giant, has been given an £8 million tax break by HMRC in return for making the next Star Wars (yawn) film in Britain.

The costs of making this film are huge with the biggest single expense being the 128 production staff who have received £6 million. (Shame it’s a tad late for me to rethink my career). But anyway back to this tax break, it’s been paid to Disney under the Government’s film tax credit scheme which entitles films with costs of more than £20 million to claim back up to 20% of its production costs.

I fully appreciate that it’s great for British film production jobs as the tax break entices some of the world’s biggest studios to film in the UK but if put to the vote who among us would not rather see these huge sums spent, for example, on cancer research and the many other great causes who struggle to find funding?

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