Don’t Stop The Music!

Worrying news that Peter Mandelson (I still hate calling him The Business Secretary) and one of his departments are changing music licensing to remove the PPL exemption that allows music to be played by charity groups.

The Business Secretary is abolishing an exemption for charities from music licensing rules – hitting them with huge bills for holding events with recorded music.

Community groups said last night they would be forced to abandon hundreds of services for the elderly and children because of the new rules.
Abolition of the so-called PPL exemption will affect charity discos, tea dances, youth clubs, salsa groups, sports clubs, coffee mornings and even charity shops which have a radio in their staff room.

The changes are being imposed by the Intellectual Property Office which is part of Lord Mandelson’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The new levy will come into effect in April 2010 subject to the regulations being ratified by Parliament.

In its own impact assessment the Government admits that it will cost voluntary groups £20 million a year and will be “highly detrimental”. Some organisations will “cease playing music” because they cannot afford a license, and it will hit a quarter of a million organisations – 140,000 charities, 6,750 charity shops, 66,440 sports clubs, 4,000 community buildings, 5,000 rural halls and 45,000 religious buildings.

The Telegraph – Charities face £20 million ‘tax’ for playing music

So even after the Governments own impact statement say it is a bad idea and will have a negative impact, good old Mandelson pushes it onwards!

If you disagree with this money-grabbing change to the law set to take effect April 2010, then please visit the National Council for Voluntary Organisations website and take part in their Don’t Stop The Music campaign (click for more details).

Nick Hurd, the shadow minister for charities, said: “This is another Labour assault on the fabric of British community life. Having shut down post offices and local pubs, Labour’s Whitehall bureaucrats now have village halls, scout huts and churches in their sights.

“This is a heartless tax on Christmas discos and tea dances in community buildings across the country. Peter Mandelson’s Christmas message is ‘strictly no dancing’ to struggling charities this winter.”

The Telegraph – Charities face £20 million ‘tax’ for playing music

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