Jenny Marra joins with local artists to fight the “arts tax”

22 March 2012 

Jenny Marra has taken up the concerns of Dundee musicians and artists about the effects of a new licensing law which threatens the very existence of parts of Dundee’s diverse arts scene. Jenny Marra MSP and Councillor Richard McCready attended a public meeting on Thursday 15th March, along with over 70 members of Dundee’s artistic and creative community.

There is widespread concern that tax implications of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 will make exhibitions or public shows put on by city artists and musicians prohibitively expensive to stage. 

Speaking about the issue, Jenny Marra said: 

“I am very concerned about the effects of this tax. Even free events are liable to pay a licence fee under this Act. Dundee is well renowned for its highly diverse arts scene and it is important that this legislation does not stifle local creativity. 

“I have contacted Dundee City Council and received assurances that they will maintain the status quo on licensing fees until a full consultation on the new legislation is conducted over the summer. 

“But we must make sure that fair licensing arrangements are the end result. Many exhibitions and gigs do not make a profit. Licence fees running into hundreds of pounds would make it impossible for many artists and musicians to stage their events.

 “I would encourage members of the arts community to take part in Dundee City Council’s consultation to make sure we get the best result for the arts community. Meanwhile, I will be looking again at the Act of Parliament to see if there is any way the situation can be resolved in Holyrood.”

 

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