- 08 Sep 22
Music industry leaders are drawing on newly appointed prime minister Liz Truss and the government to address the pressing energy crisis and lend a helping hand to entertainment and hospitality branches.
Following Monday’s appointment of their newest prime minister, UK music companies are publicly requesting better government aid for the arts and music sectors in order to protect music and entertainment industries.
Multiple music industry organisations including Music Venue Trust, Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), UK Music and LIVE have stressed a dire need for the execution of new measures to save arts and entertainment amidst rising energy costs.
Just this Monday, conservative leader Liz Truss was declared the next prime minister of the UK, succeeding Boris Johnson and beating competition Rishi Sunak. Among Truss’ list of challenges to face off with as the new PM is the music industry, which is calling for a reinstatement of the VAT cut for events and hospitality that was in place during the COVID pandemic.
As much of the Tory Campaign focused on potential tax cuts, Chief executive of UK Music Jamie Njoku-Goodwin publicly congratulated Truss on her victory before urging the new prime minister to follow in the footsteps of the government during the pandemic, when aid was provided to entertainment and hospitality industries.
Pushing the government and its new PM to tackle the current energy crisis significantly impacting the music industry, Njoku-Goodwin states, “Congratulations to Liz Truss. During the campaign, Liz Truss rightly talked about the need to tackle the crippling cost of living – and she must now deliver on that commitment immediately. Without urgent action to help music venues, studios and other music businesses, there is a real risk that many will go to the wall.”
The industry leader further suggested, “The Government should make a significant cut to VAT from its current 20% rate to 5% – just as it did during the pandemic.”
Rising energy costs and the skyrocketing price of living predicts that many music companies which barely made it through COVID – venues, clubs and recording studios – are fearful of the very real possibility of permanent closure within the next few months, weeks or days.
Music trade organisation LIVE is also joining the call to action, including suggesting reintroducing the HMRC Time to Pay scheme in the entertainment field as well as certain regulations to help businesses minimise their energy usage.
CEO of NTIA Michael Kill is calling on government action as well, advising that Truss take responsibility for the energy crisis by laying down energy caps for businesses that will likely be scarred by rising fuel costs.
Kill stresses, “It is now vital that the new Prime Minister takes this opportunity to be decisive in tackling the cost inflation crisis, over the coming days, by reducing VAT across the board, extending business rates relief and implementing an energy cap for small medium enterprise businesses,” a sentiment then supported by Music Venue Trust’s Mark Davyd.
Davyd jointly spoke on the issue, sharing that he has personally witnessed a grassroots music venue’s rising energy bill increase by £134,000.
The industry leader added, “The sector needs swift and meaningful action on the energy crisis, and we are keen to work with the incoming administration to find a short-term temporary fix for these challenges.”
We have yet to find out if the industry’s call to action will be heard by the government, or if the many challenges it faces now will bounce off deaf ears. With more incoming leaders such as the new Culture Secretary, hopes are that those with higher powers will be more willing to engage with entertainment sectors on such issues.
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