PPL head Peter Leathem stated recently that it was unlikely that his organisation will row back on the proposed fee increases for UK pubs and clubs hosting DJs or discos despite widespread industry protests there.
The proposed increases – of the order of 4,000 per cent in some cases for ‘Specially Featured Entertainment’ – are likely to see many pubs and clubs simply close their doors. In some cases the increase would change a £150,000 PPL bill into one of £7 million.
“From what we’re seeing at the moment” he stated in an interview with the Publican Morning Advertiser, “it’s unlikely that they will go down in the consultation process. But we’re obviously open to look through and be given a better picture of why it’s going to be unaffordable for so many premises.”
The consultation is open until the end of the year and PPL has pledged not to bring in any new fees this year. The UK industry is building up a fighting fund to counter the proposed fee increases.
Here in Ireland, however, Phonographic Performance Ireland’s tariff is based on attendance and admission price so as pubs and clubs have seen attendance figures fall, so too has the admission price and therefore PPI’s income.
However Ireland’s pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels and nightclubs are currently gearing themselves up to take on IMRO which has been raising its tariff – based on capacity only – steadily.
“As nightclubs have witnessed a collapse in attendance, they’ve seen IMRO fees rising continually so we’ll be looking to see nightclub attendances as a means of getting away from capacity-based tariffs,” INIA Chief Executive Barry O’Sullivan told Drinks Industry Ireland, “It’s counterproductive on a night when you might have 100 customers to have an IMRO tariff based on 1,000 as per capacity.”