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Industry reaction to the Autumn statement

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM:
"AIM welcomes the government’s proposed tax cut on businesses rates, but with small independent businesses increasingly squeezed by rising costs, UK music stands to suffer unless we create greater incentive for investing in the next generation of creative and entrepreneurial talent. While we understand the need to cut costs in today’s budget, we call on the government to give serious consideration to measures to support the future of the sector in the Spring Statement. For example, extending creative industry tax reliefs to cover British music could play a vital role in encouraging investment and maintaining a healthy music ecosystem.”

Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE:
“While we welcome the Government’s desire to bring stability to the UK economy, today has offered little help to secure the future of our £4.5bn industry and the 200,000 people it employs. Unprecedented operating conditions are pushing our sector to the brink, as much-loved venues close their doors, tours are cancelled and artists drop out of the industry.
The pandemic hangover combined with the increased cost of living has led to 54% of people stating they are less disposed to attending live entertainment, putting incredible pressure on the live music sector. Today, we renew our call for a reintroduction of a lower VAT rate on ticket sales to inject cash into the bottom line of struggling businesses, bring us in line with many other European countries, and secure the future of live music for all.”

Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA:
“This Government is guilty of neglecting thousands of businesses and millions of employees and freelancers across the night time economy, this budget has not gone far enough and still lacks clarity, and will without doubt see a huge swathe of SMEs and independent businesses disappear in the coming months.”
“When businesses should be preparing for the busiest period of the year, they are now having to consider their future, and will remember the fourth failed attempt to deliver a budget to safeguard businesses at the sharpest end of the crisis.”
‘There is no consdierarion for the human impact, this will have a devastating effect on not only business owners, but the individuals and families who have committed their lives and livelihoods to this sector.”

Mark Davyd, CEO & Founder of Music Venue Trust:
Music Venue Trust welcomes the government's announcement that the retail, hospitality and leisure relief on business rates, which includes the majority of UK Grassroots Music Venues, will be extended from 50% to 75% from 1 April 2023. However, we have written to the Treasury to ask that they clarify the support being offered to venues with values in excess of £110,000 - the Autumn Statement lacks clarity on what is proposed for such venues.
In January 2020, prior to the pandemic, the government committed to a full review of Business Rates on Grassroots Music Venues. We strongly urge the Chancellor and Prime Minister to bring forward that review at the earliest opportunity. The UK has the highest level of premises taxes on Grassroots Music Venues in Europe. This must change for our live music industry to remain competitive.
The Government has not chosen to respond to calls to reduce VAT on ticketing. The UK continues to have the highest rate of VAT in Europe on live music tickets. This must change so the UK can compete.
The Chancellor spoke today about wishing to support research & development. but he has not responded to the opportunity to unlock the research & development  investment into culture by Grassroots Music Venues by matching the tax incentives already available to theatres and orchestras. This must change if we want the UK to continue to produce world beating artists of the future.
The government states it is committed to stability and growth. Despite its welcome action to provide some stability around business rates for a further 12 month period, the multiple opportunities to stabilise and grow the live music sector are being consistently missed, budget after budget, statement after statement. Our Grassroots Music Venue sector creates 29,000 jobs, delivering over 170,000 performances to more than 20 million people. It is a vital sector with real opportunities to deliver growth, but that is not recognised and acted upon in this Autumn Statement.
In light of these missed opportunities, Music Venue Trust calls for the government to set up a live music commission. This body can be charged with considering the significant opportunities to stabilise and grow the live music sector, with the aim of informing future government policy so that these opportunities are not consistently missed. A live music commission can provide the government with the tools it needs to be able to recognise the incredible asset the UK has in its Grassroots Music Venues and ensure that future policy protects, secures and improves them.   

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