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Parking Levy

After a delay of a year, the government will shortly introduce its proposed €200 parking levy on spaces provided by employers, The Sunday Business Post reports.

The levy on employees who drive to work was first announced in October 2008 but remained wishful thinking for “logistical reasons”.  The teething problems now appear to have been overcome and the scheme will be rolled out on a phased basis, beginning in Dublin city centre.

It will then be extended across the country in main urban centres.

At the Movies

Investors put €100m in Irish films and TV productions last year, taking advantage of enhanced tax incentives for the industry, The Sunday Business Post reports.

The investment under Section 481 cost the exchequer €40.9m in revenue foregone but 46 TV series and 18 films received investment under the scheme during 2009. The number of productions was the highest since 1995.

Under the new regime introduced in 2008 to boost the industry, 100% of a movie’s budget can be offset against tax – up from 80% previously. The amount an individual could invest was also increased substantially.

Iontas

It’s not all doom and gloom out there – and certainly not for a group of entrepreneurs who have just sold their Letterkenny-based technology start-up for $20m.

Iontas, a firm specialising in business process systems, has been sold to US company Vermint Systems, according to The Sunday Business Post. The deal comprises a cash payment of $14.8m and the remainder in earn-outs for the key personnel in the company over the next two years.

The Iontas founders and management will net more than €6m for the 30% stake they retain in the company. They include chairman and chief executive Joe Stockton and chief technical officer Martin McCreesh.

Ardmore Studios

Merlin & co are bringing their financial wizardry to Wicklow and it spells tens of millions for the Irish film industry, The Sunday Times reports.

Camelot, a US-funded TV series based on the legendary Knights of the Round Table, is set to be filmed at Ardmore Studios in Wicklow with speculation that it will be an even bigger money-spinner than the Tudors, which brought €20m to Ireland last year alone.

Camelot is projected to run over five seasons, providing a welcome boost for thespians, hoteliers and travel companies.

Michael Hirst, the man who wrote The Tudors, has already penned the first four episodes of Camelot and has been commissioned to work on The Borgias, another TV series to be directed by Neil Jordan and starring Jeremy Irons. He said film-makers were attracted to Ireland by experienced crew and actors, the scenery and tax breaks.

“The landscape is perfect for the Arthurian setting. You get a real sense of the Dark Ages in Ireland,” he told the newspaper.

Perhaps he was talking about the economy.

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