To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment in this financial year of what impact the current level of VAT being levied on ticket sales for cultural events is having on that industry; if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reducing the VAT level thereon; and if he will make a statement.
VAT has been designed as a broad-based tax on consumption and the twenty per cent standard rate applies to the vast majority of goods and services, including tickets for cultural events. While there are exceptions to the standard rate, these have always been strictly limited by both legal and fiscal considerations. The Government keeps all taxes under review, but there are no plans to change the current VAT treatment on ticket sales.
Tickets were within the scope of the temporary reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism, which was introduced on 15 July 2020 to support the cash flow and viability of around 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs during the Coronavirus pandemic. This relief ended on 31 March 2022. It is right that as Coronavirus restrictions were lifted and demand for goods and services in these sectors increased, the temporary tax reliefs were first reduced and then removed in order to rebuild and strengthen the public finances.