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UK Music calls for halt on VAT hike

UK Music, a British umbrella organisation for the music industry, has called for the UK Government to rethink its position on raising VAT on live event and attraction tickets, set to come into effect from March 31.

VAT on certain tickets was slashed to 5% in July 2020 in the UK, in order to provide a boost for the entertainment and tourism sectors after the first lockdown. 

The 5% reduced VAT was originally in place until March 31 last year, but was extended until September 30. It was then raised to the current 12.5%.  

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “It’s crucial for the live sector that this VAT rise is cancelled. Our industry has been hammered over the past 18 months and still faces huge levels of uncertainty – the last thing we need now is a tax hike. 

“We want to play a positive role in the wider economic recovery but raising VAT on our sector is not the way to do that. We should be cutting VAT to support what is a still a fragile recovery, not increasing it.” 

The VAT reduction applies to businesses that help with admissions for shows, theatres, concerts, circuses, amusement parks, zoos and cinemas. 

Other attractions such as planetariums, botanical gardens, studio and factory tours are also included. However, the reduced rate does not apply for tickets to enter sporting events.   

Image: Kyrylo Kholopkin on Unsplash