UK Music Urges Government to Slash VAT on Concert Tickets to Safeguard Industry’s Future

In a bid to secure the survival of the UK music industry, UK Music, the collective voice of the nation’s music sector, has made a fervent plea to the government. The call comes amidst growing concerns over the fate of music venues facing imminent closure.

The organization has directed its appeal to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, imploring him to wield the power of the upcoming spring Budget to enact a substantial reduction in VAT on concert tickets. Tom Kiehl, serving as UK Music’s Interim Chief Executive, emphasized the critical nature of this move, describing it as a “vital lifeline” necessary to protect both professionals in the music industry and the venues that serve as its heartbeat.

Specifically, UK Music has proposed a reduction of the current 20 per cent VAT rate on tickets to a more manageable 10 per cent. This adjustment, Kiehl asserts, would not only benefit consumers but also provide much-needed support to music professionals and venues alike.

The appeal to slash VAT is just one facet of UK Music’s comprehensive recommendations outlined in its Budget submission. The submission delineates the various forms of support required to nurture the growth of the sector.

Currently, music enthusiasts in the UK bear the brunt of a hefty 20 per cent VAT on their ticket purchases, a figure nearly double the EU average of 10.3 per cent. Moreover, it surpasses the taxation rates in countries such as Belgium (six per cent) and Germany (seven per cent) by a considerable margin.

This disparity places the UK among the highest-ranking nations in Europe concerning cultural ticketing tax rates, trailing only Denmark and Lithuania in this regard. Consequently, gig-goers find themselves shouldering a heavier tax burden on UK tickets than anywhere else on the continent, a situation that UK Music aims to rectify.

As the music industry grapples with unprecedented challenges exacerbated by the ongoing global circumstances, the proposed VAT reduction emerges as a beacon of hope, offering a potential lifeline to safeguard the vibrancy and diversity of the UK music scene. With the spring Budget looming on March 6, the ball now rests in the government’s court to heed the impassioned plea from UK Music and take decisive action to fortify the country’s musical landscape for generations to come.

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