Theatre News

Culture Secretary confirms VAT for theatre and concerts cut from 20 per cent to five per cent

Value added tax will be decreased

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden
© UK Parliament / Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

The Culture Secretary has announced that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak's VAT cut will apply to theatres, concerts and more.

Taking to Twitter following the Chancellor's announcements earlier today, Oliver Dowden said that he is "pleased to confirm VAT cut from 20 per cent to five per cent for "attractions" announced by Rishi Sunak includes shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas and exhibitions. We will announce further steps on path to reopening shortly."

The Chancellor's new plan will try and push consumers to spend more as the country emerges slowly from lockdown and, in Dowden's words, "restart tourism and hospitality".

VAT stands for value added tax, and is paid on the majority of goods and services. Conventionally the tax is 20 per cent, and is the third biggest income generator for the UK government.

How this might affect ticket costs is trickier to predict. Many parts of the industry are already exempt from VAT when it comes to admission charges, especially non-for-profit organisations. As such, VAT is treated differently for different sources of income within the sector.

The news comes days after Dowden announced a £1.5bn package to support the arts sector, though questions remain over how the money will be distributed and when it may be received.