Fears over tax relief plans

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Museums Association concerned that tax plan could be dropped by minority government

Museum leaders fear that political uncertainty could scupper plans to introduce tax relief measures for museums and galleries.

Alistair Brown, policy officer for the Museums Association (MA), said a minority government might slow down provisions to allow tax relief for museums and galleries across the UK on new permanent, temporary and touring exhibitions.

The proposal was first mooted in the last government’s Finance Bill, but was dropped so that the Government’s budget could be pushed through before the election. 

But Neil Adleman, a partner at Harbottle and Lewis LLP, which advises cultural organisations, said, “it may be that with a minority administration what are seen to be peripheral items such as this get dropped.”

However, Alistair Brown added said that the government’s failure to gain a majority of MPs could mean a more consensual approach to Brexit, which would take into account the museums sectors concerns about freedom of movement and regulatory change.

John Kampfner, the chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said that the election result made clear that there was no mandate for a hard Brexit, and that his organisation would argue for a rethink. “This general election vote now offers the opportunity to look at the issue again.

“The Federation will push for the UK to remain in the single market and the customs union and against undue restrictions on free movement, which we know will damage the capacity of the creative industries to deliver. Non-UK EU nationals are an important part of the creative economy.”

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