Live Music

Live music bodies call on new Prime Minster for VAT reduction

Featured image credit: HM TreasuryOGL 3/ Edited for size

Following the news that Rishi Sunak has become the UK’s new Prime Minister earlier this week, organisations in the live music sector have called for stability.

Sunak was made Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party following Liz Truss’s resignation after just six weeks in office. 

Those in the live music sector have called for the reduction of VAT on ticket sales to help the industry continue its recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Under then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sunak lowered rates to 5% to boost sales during the pandemic. 

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “We look forward to working with the new Prime Minister in his new role, and hope he can address the current instability, uncertainty and begin a journey to build back consumer confidence for night time economy and hospitality businesses.

“At such a critical time for our sector with many businesses on a cliff edge, I would remind him that 10% of something is better than 20% of nothing.

“At the next budget announcement, I would encourage him to extend business rates relief, reform the entire business rates system and lower the current rate of VAT.”

Kill added: “Independent businesses will not survive without it.”

Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE, an umbrella organisation for the UK’s live music industry, has echoed the calls for the reintroduction of the 5% rate. 

He added: “Like all businesses, the live music industry needs consistency and stability and we are now hopeful for a period of both.

“The economic climate remains extremely challenging for our sector and we are looking forward to interventions which ease cost pressures and increase disposable income. 

“As a priority, we are calling for the reintroduction of the 5% rate of VAT on ticket sales and hope that the new PM’s experience in the Treasury leaves him well placed to recognise the economic stimulus that would follow. Safeguarding gigs, festivals and venues while encouraging additional activity will bring benefits to town and city centres across the UK.”