Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Dutch groups hit out at live music VAT rate hike | IQ Magazine


The Association of Dutch Music Venues and Festivals’ (VNPF) is calling on the government to reconsider its plans to raise the VAT rate for concert and festival tickets by 12 percentage points.

The increase from 9% to 21%, which is set to come into effect from 2026, was announced this week in the new coalition agreement between the PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB parties.

But the national live music trade body is warning the move could have dire consequences for the domestic business, and is appealing for talks with the powers that be.

“This measure makes ticket sales uncertain, leading to less investment in a sector that has already been hit disproportionately hard in recent years,” it says. “The jobs of more than 100,000 people working in this industry are also threatened.

“In addition, this VAT increase weakens the competitive position of the Dutch live music sector compared to neighbouring countries where low rates are still charged. Stages and festivals lose their offer to neighbouring countries, with all the financial consequences that entails. This policy puts the Dutch world-leading live sector at a great disadvantage.”

Stressing that a healthy cultural sector is “essential” for the country’s economy, the VNPF says the impact on the tax hike would be felt on and off the stage.

“The consequences extend beyond just the visitors – up-and-coming pop talent will find it even more difficult to break through and generate a sustainable income”

“Pop culture in the Netherlands is becoming less accessible, causing a broad audience to be excluded from cultural events,” it continues. “This makes the Netherlands less attractive for international artists, which has a negative impact on the business climate in this industry.

“The consequences extend beyond just the visitors – up-and-coming pop talent will find it even more difficult to break through and generate a sustainable income.”

The Association of Event Makers (VVEM) has also shared its “major concerns” at the proposal.

“This increase is bad news for consumers,” says the group. “A decision like this also has far-reaching consequences for Dutch artists, who see the gap with their audience growing, but also for entrepreneurs in the events industry.”

A four-party coalition deal was provisionally struck this week to form a right-wing government, almost six months after PVV leader Geert Wilders won the Dutch election.

“The VVEM suspects that the new government has not realised that a measure like this will hit ordinary Dutch people who like to go to events hard,” it adds. “The flywheel effect is that the business climate in the industry is also hit hard. We would like to enter into discussions with a new government to convince them not to take this measure.”

 


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