UK music trade pressures Jeremy Hunt to chop VAT in Spring Budget | UK | News | EUROtoday

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The UK’s music trade is urging Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to slash VAT within the Budget to deliver it into line with different European nations and throw the beleaguered sector a “vital lifeline” to assist save closure-threatened venues.

Ahead of this weekend’s glittering Brit Awards ceremony at London’s O2 Arena, UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl has thrown the highlight on the ecosystem that creates our world-conquering superstars and supercharges the economic system to the tune of over £10bn yearly.

The UK at present has the third highest VAT charge on tickets in Europe placing grassroots venues at important drawback to their overseas opponents. Music lovers pay 20% – extra tax than wherever else besides Denmark and Lithuania. Meanwhile live performance goers in Belgium pay 6% whereas in Germany it’s 7%.

Experts say a minimize to the European common of 10% would supply a vital lifeline to native venues which are being decimated by rising prices.

Over 125 grassroots music venues have been misplaced in 2023, in keeping with the Music Venue Trust (MVT) charity. Among the high-profile closures was Bath venue Moles, which helped launch the careers of Ed Sheeran, Oasis and Radiohead.

Tom stated: “We urgently need to see some action from the Chancellor in the Budget to support the UK music industry at what is an immensely tough time for many venues and for those working in our sector.

“Cutting VAT on tickets to 10% would be a vital lifeline and could mean the difference between saving and losing some of our most loved music venues, which are key parts of many local economies and communities.

“Reducing the tax burden will help boost investment at grassroots level and give local venues and economies across the UK a much needed shot in the arm.

“Venues are part of a wide music ecosystem, which needs support in a number of important areas to help the sector grow and thrive.”

Also supporting the Daily Express’ Strike A Chord marketing campaign to rework music schooling in state colleges, Tom urged a loosening of the purse strings to offer extra funding in trainer recruitment.

He added: “The music industry’s talent pipeline faces an existential crisis unless more music teachers are hired to nurture the next generation of stars.

“The UK has a world-leading music sector. However, it needs action from the Government to ensure it can continue to grow for decades to come.”

An estimated 14.4 million “music tourists” travelled to take pleasure in dwell music at venues throughout the UK in 2022, in keeping with UK Music’s Here, There and Everywhere report revealed final yr.

Gig-goers spent £6,6bn immediately on tickets and it’s estimated that each £10 spent on a dwell music ticket is value £17 to the broader native economic system.

The UK’s music trade is the third largest recorded music market on this planet and UK music exports have been value £4 billion in 2022. The UK stays one in every of solely three internet exporters of music globally and is the second-largest exporter of recorded music after the USA.

Expert remark by Brit rocker Jeremy Pritchard of Everything Everything.

It’s a protracted journey for the performers taking part in to an viewers of ten of hundreds on the BRITs ceremony, and thousands and thousands watching on tv.

But the very fact is that there has by no means been a more durable time for artists attempting to interrupt by way of.

Dozens of small venues, the important and fertile breeding grounds of the UK scene, are being compelled to shut attributable to a variety of points together with rising rents, vitality prices and issues with licensing.

The decline in grassroots music venues and rehearsal areas means it’s tougher than ever for rising bands to search out locations to play and to apply.

If we wish to nurture the expertise of the longer term, and maintain our internationally-enviable touring community of venues intact, we want pressing help from the Government.

One useful step can be for the Government to chop the 20% VAT charge on live performance tickets to 10%. That can be an enormous assist to venues teetering on the point of closure, and to the artists that depend on them.

It would additionally assist encourage extra followers into grassroots music venues that present much more for his or her native communities than the music itself. They are inclusive social areas, and nothing else fills that hole.

The UK has a primary charge music trade, considerable in expertise and the wealthy sub-cultures it engenders. If we wish it to outlive we want the correct help.

Everything Everything has a brand new album ‘Mountainhead’ out now. Jeremy Pritchard sit on the boards of each the Featured Artists Coalition and Music Venue Trust.