BRUSSELS — French artist and composer Jean Michel Jarre took the music industry’s campaign to cut taxes on sound recordings to the European Parliament Tuesday.
Jarre urged the Parliament’s key economic and monetary affairs committee to include sound recordings on a list of products that will benefit from reduced rates of value added tax.
He spoke on behalf of the VAT coalition, a campaign group of European music industry solons. At the hearing Jarre described the exclusion of sound recordings from the list of reduced rate articles as “cultural discrimination.” VAT on sound recordings is between 15% and 25% in European countries, while books, cinema, theater and concert tickets benefit from a reduction of around 5%.
“Music is a vital part of our cultural life, and work by European artists epitomizes Europe’s cultural diversity,” he said. “It simply makes no sense that sound recordings are not eligible for the same reduced VAT rates as other cultural products.”
The campaign has the backing of over 1,300 European artists and composers including Andrea Bocelli, Elton John and Julio Iglesias.
The committee will advise European finance ministers who are due to make the final decision before the end of the year.