Early day motion criticises plans to make charities pay for music

Tom Levitt MP says removal of exemption could cost the sector millions every year

Plans to charge charities fees for playing music on their premises or at events could cost the sector more than £20m a year, according to a parliamentary motion.

Tom Levitt, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Community and Voluntary Sector, has posted an early day motion saying the removal of the charity exemption from paying the fees will place an "unacceptable financial burden" on the voluntary and community sector.

The figure quoted in the EDM is taken from a government impact assessment that examined the possible effects of removing the exemption.

The EDM also notes the "devastating impact that these proposals would have on local tea dances, youth clubs, coffee mornings, charity shops and others" and calls on the Government to continue the current exemption for charities and not-for-profit organisations.

The Government announced last month that from next April it would abolish charities' exemption from paying fees to Phonographic Performance Limited, which represents music producers and performers.

The abolition was proposed by the Intellectual Property Office after a consultation last year. A spokesman said the fixed fee for charities was likely to be less than £100 a year, but the Association of Charity Shops estimated that its members might have to pay an average of £1,800 each a year.

Levitt's motion had garnered 19 signatures by Thursday morning.

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