Business Rates Relief: Music Venues

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons on 21st May 2019.

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Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

What assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending business rates relief to more music venues.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

We announced in the Budget that we were reducing business rates for small retailers and others by one third. Music venues are not specifically included, although local authorities may make some judgments around that. We, of course, keep all tax reliefs and taxes under review.

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

The music sector contributes billions to the economy and so much more in terms of life enrichment, but the opportunity pipeline is being constricted as music venues close under pressure. Will the Minister agree to just a small tweak to the retail discount scheme guidance to make it clear that music venues are eligible?

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

Music venues are eligible for many of the reliefs, worth £13 billion over the coming years, we have introduced since 2016, as well as the switch from uprating the multiplier from RPI to CPI. Many benefit from small business rates relief as well. I will of course, as with all representations, take the hon. Gentleman’s comments on board and consider them going forward.

Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Conservative, Cleethorpes

Not all of the small private hotels and guest houses in Cleethorpes are noted as music venues, but they would benefit from additional relief to their business rates. They are finding trading particularly difficult at the moment. Would the Minister look sympathetically on representations from them?

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

In short, yes. I always look sympathetically on any representations to reduce taxation.