A proposal to remove the charity exemption from music licensing fees has been delayed until after the general election.
The change would allow licensing authority Phonographic Performance Limited to charge charities and community groups to play recorded music and radio stations in charity shops and at events. It could cost the sector an estimated £20m, politicians have warned.
The change is to be introduced by a parliamentary measure known as a statutory instrument. MPs must be given 40 days to object to a statutory instrument after it has been discussed in the House of Commons. Because the motion has not yet been tabled, there will not be time for it to be passed before Parliament is dissolved on 12 April.
The earliest the plan could now be put before the House of Commons is 18 May. It would then pass to the House of Lords for approval.
Liz Atkins, director of public policy at sector umbrella body the NCVO, said: "The good news for the sector is that both Angela Smith for Labour and Nick Hurd for the Conservatives have made it clear they would like to see a fair agreement between PPL and the voluntary sector before the statutory instrument is laid before Parliament.
"We are continuing to push for an exemption for the smallest charities as a minimum and will no doubt continue our negotiations with PPL in the coming months."