For Immediate Use
24 October 2013

The Association of British Orchestras today welcomed the Government’s decision to repeal the current National Insurance framework for Entertainers which has been announced by HMRC.

This means that from 6 April 2014, freelance musicians and other performers and entertainers will be aligned with other self-employed workers under a Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance scheme. The current regulations, highlighted by recent legal rulings against ITV Services meant that these individuals fell under Class 1 which could have proved disastrous for the UK orchestral sector.

Mark Pemberton, Director of the ABO, says: “We are delighted that the government has agreed to repeal the National Insurance regulations for self-employed entertainers. The threat to our members, and the damage to their competitiveness, caused by the ruling that self-employed musicians should be liable for Class 1 National Insurance has been of immense concern to the ABO, and it is testimony to the campaigning efforts of the ABO, the Musicians Union, other music organisations and musicians themselves that the government has acted so swiftly to find a solution.”

The ABO worked closely with the Musicians Union and other organisations in providing a robust response to the Government’s consultation. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Classical Music also held meetings with ministers and officials to reinforce the danger that a Class 1 regime would pose to the sector.

Lord Lipsey, chair of the all party classical music group said “We welcome the government’s announcement most warmly.”
“I and colleagues from the group went to see ministers earlier this year to urge them to look at this problem carefully. We are delighted that they have taken this message on board and removed the Sword of Damocles hanging over our orchestras and our musicians.”

 For more information please contact Keith Motson, Membership & Communications Manager, ABO

Notes to Editors:
The Association of British Orchestras, founded in 1947, is the national body representing the collective interests of professional and youth orchestras throughout the UK. The ABO’s mission is to enable and support a vibrant, innovative, collaborative and sustainable orchestral sector. It exists to support and champion professional and youth orchestras in the UK in their ambition to perform music to the highest artistic standards for the widest possible audience.