Charities will not lose music licensing exemption before September

NCVO claims its letter to the minister influenced the decision to delay

Plans to remove the exemption for charities from music licensing charges will not be implemented until September at the earliest, after protests from voluntary sector organisations.

The government decided last year that charities would lose their exemption from the requirement to buy a licence from the licensing authority, the  Phonographic Performance Limited, to play recorded music and radio stations in places such as charity shops and at events. Politicians have estimated that the measure could cost the sector £20m a year.

The measure would be introduced by a statutory instrument subject to negative procedure, which means it would be laid before Parliament and come into force provided neither house objected. It has not been laid before the summer recess, which starts today, and the next opportunity will come in September.

Last week, the NCVO wrote to Baroness Wilcox, a minister for business, innovation and skills, urging a rethink of the plans.

Belinda Pratten, head of policy at the NCVO, said the letter, which stressed that more time was needed to consider the proposals, influenced the decision to delay.

"There’s a sense that they are keen to get a balance of interests," she said. "And they would have taken into consideration that we were saying it wasn’t fair for small charities."

A spokesman for the Intellectual Property Office declined to comment on when the measure could become law. "The government is considering the issue and speaking to interested parties," he said.

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