A plan by PPL to raise fees by up to 2000% must be opposed, and licensees need to get their voices heard before the organisation puts Scotland’s night-time economy at risk.
PPL have asked licensees and interested parties to respond to their consultation paper by mid October, but the trade may have to do more than just respond. The view is that they should be lobbying government, local MSP’s and the First Minister in order to fight this proposed increase. Some have suggested that licensees withhold current payments in order to make PPL take notice.
However Brian Fulton a Director of CPL is concerned that licensees do not know all the facts. He says, “The consultation paper needs to be responded to by 14th October, but many of the people who pay PPL license fees at the moment have not received the document, and are unaware of the possible cost increases.”
He also believes that the trade needs to get itself galvanised into action. He says, “There are four key issues –
• The fact that many businesses were not made aware of the proposed changes.
• The complexity of the report will take time to analyse.
• The fee structure is based on English figures, and not in line with the Scottish market.
• If it goes ahead the trade will have further casualties.
Brian points out:-
• This is the second consultation, the first was in 2006. The document is at http://www.ppluk.com/en/music-users/SFE-Consultation/
• PPL have used a company called FTI Consulting to come up with a new payment structure using Choice Modelling.
• They have decided that events with a DJ have a value to those in the pubs and clubs, and this value should be paid to PPL. The effect of this would be to increase our costs by up 2000% over the next three years for some venues.
• Costs would go up by 1000% due to the new tariff, and also they have removed average numbers and replaced these with numbers in for the time you are open, which doubles the cost again.
• The research was done in London and Manchester, and bears no real comparison to the Scottish Market.
• Our midweek spend per head is approximately £10.00 a head, so net of VAT that is £8.33 to take a charge of £1.45 for playing music is 17.4% of our income, and this is just PPL, we also pay PRS.
• The FTI paper runs to 51 pages, there is not enough time to analyse this and then prepare a rebuttal.
If you want to get actively involved contact the DRAM on 0141 221 6965.