Rishi Sunak’s Government will miss a golden opportunity to unleash the live music sector’s potential if it fails to reinstate a lower rate of VAT and fulfil his campaign promise to cut business rates in the Budget to be delivered on March 15th. This is the assertion made by LIVE, the first of our sector’s trade bodies to exit the starting gates with pre-budget statements.
As we know, the live music sector is a catalyst for economic activity in towns and cities right across the UK. However, after a tough couple of years during the pandemic, much of the sector is still dealing with the effects of increased costs, post-Covid changes, and a punitive, uncompetitive taxation system.
LIVE, the voice of the entire live music sector, is calling on (insert Chancellor name here because, who knows…) upcoming Spring Budget to:
- Deliver on his personal promise to cut business rates.
- Reinstate a lower rate of 5% VAT on tickets (in line with international comparisons).
Rishi Sunak’s chancellor at the time needs to make these simple and fair changes in the upcoming budget to unlock the potential of the industry to return to pre-pandemic levels and create jobs, generate investment, and ultimately host more brilliant live events in every corner of the UK.
Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE said: “The live music sector is a catalyst for economic activity right across the UK but many businesses are still reeling from the pandemic. Combined with rising costs, an uncompetitive tax system is holding back a sector-wide resurgence. The Government has a golden opportunity to turbo boost the industry by reintroducing the 5% rate of VAT on ticket sales in the upcoming Spring Budget. This change would help return live music to full strength, protect much loved grassroots venues and mean even more amazing festivals, concerts, and gigs in towns and cities across the country.”