Press Release 20 February 2013 - APPG seeks meeting with Exchequer Secretary to discuss National Insurance

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Use

20 February 2013

ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY CLASSICAL MUSIC GROUP SEEKS MEETING WITH EXCHEQUER SECRETARY TO RESOLVE NATIONAL INSURANCE CRISIS

The All Party Parliamentary Classical Music Group is seeking a meeting with David Gauke MP, the Exchequer Secretary over the grave threat to music and musicians from the threatened imposition of Class 1 National Insurance contributions on freelance musicians.

Lord Lipsey, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Classical Music Group, said “Inadvertent it may be, but the way things stand the imposition of Class 1 National Insurance contributions threatens to decimate our orchestras and put our musicians out of work.”

ENDS


Notes to Editors:

The All Party Parliamentary Classical Music Group held a meeting on 13 February to hear evidence from the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and Musicians’ Union (MU) on the impact of the threatened imposition of Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on freelance musicians.

The Social Security (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations 1978 [the ‘Entertainers Regulations’] were introduced to provide earnings-related contributory benefit protection to ‘entertainers’. A Memorandum with HM Revenue & Customs was published in 2006 which confirmed that, taking into account points relating to custom and practice, payments made for concert engagements for deputies, extras and freelance musicians were not liable for Class 1 NICs.

An Upper Tribunal ruling in relation to ITV Services’ treatment of the employment status for National Insurance contributions purposes of actors led to publication in June 2012 of Revenue & Customs Brief 19/12, which states that “musicians’ contracts which HMRC previously believed to be outside the ambit of the Regulations, and where in some cases it had given a written opinion to that effect, are in fact within the Regulations”. This has led to the threat of liability for Class 1 NICs for freelance musicians undertaking concert engagements.

The All Party Parliamentary Classical Music Group will be seeking a meeting with the Exchequer Secretary, David Gauke MP, to encourage him to authorise a re-writing of the Entertainers Regulations so that Class 1 NICs apply to those entertainers that require access to enhanced benefits, such as actors, while exemptions from Class 1 NICs for other categories of ‘entertainer’ such as freelance musicians are re-instated.

The ABO acts as Secretariat to the APPG Classical Music Group.

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