As part of its attempt to assist the reeling live events industry, the UK government announced it would drastically reduced the value-added tax (VAT) on event tickets from 20% to 5% going forward. The reduction will last for six months, beginning on July 15, and includes tickets to shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusment parts, museums, zoos, cinemas & exhibitions, according to a tweet by culture minister Oliver Dowden.
Pleased to confirm VAT cut from 20% to 5% for “attractions” announced by @RishiSunak includes
Shows, Theatres, Circuses, Fairs, Amusement Parks, Concerts, Museums, Zoos, Cinemas & Exhibitions
— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) July 8, 2020
“Yesterday’s announcement on the VAT reduction for ticket sales is a significant show of support for our industry from the government and is a sign that they are willing to work with us to find targeted measures to support this vital part of the UK economy,” says Concert Promoters’ Association chair Phil Bowdery. “We want to thank the government, and in particular Oliver Dowden and Rishi Sunak, for their support and the confidence they have shown in the iconic UK live music industry.”
“We also know there is lots more to do and our industry is not out of the woods yet, and we will continue to work hard with the government to get the support the industry needs over the coming months.”
Prior to the tax cut, the government had announced a rescue package worth a reported £1.57 billion aimed at supporting the live events sector, which has reeled in the wake of government-mandated shutdowns on large gatherings due to the coronavirus. Hopes are that government can prop the organizations operating in the sector up long enough for them to survive the government halt on live events and resume operations once consumer restrictions are lifted.
“The measures the chancellor announced yesterday include a hugely welcome reduction in VAT from 20% to 5% for various sectors, including tickets for concerts, said National Arenas Association chair Lucy Noble. “We are extremely grateful to the chancellor, treasury ministers and DCMS [department for digital, culture, media and sport] for listening to us and for their willingness to consider and implement measures to support the music industry at this critical time.”
Nearly 300,000 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the UK, with 44,819 dead per tracking at worldometers.info. Case rates have dropped dramatically since hitting their peak in April and early May, with a 7-day average of 598 new cases as of Sunday, allowing the government to continue reopening efforts.