The increase has now been lodged with the Controller’s Office despite INIA arguing for a substantial reduction of 30 per cent “in line with where the industry has been going for the last five years,” explained INIA Chief Executive Barry O’Sullivan, “But no reduction has been forthcoming”.
Unlike IMRO which has been raising its tariff steadily – based on capacity only – Phonographic Performance Ireland has seen its income from late night pubs and clubs fall with the drop in spend in the economy. The PPI tariff, based on attendance and admission price, has fallen as pubs and clubs have seen attendance figures fall.
“As nightclubs have witnessed a collapse in attendance, they’ve seen IMRO fees rising continually,” Barry O’Sullivan told Drinks Industry Ireland, "so we’d been negotiating to use nightclub attendances as a means of getting away from capacity-based tariffs. It’s counterproductive on a night when you might have 100 customers to have an IMRO tariff based on 1,000 as per capacity.”
However in the UK, the Chief Executive of Phonographic Performance Ltd there has stated that he sees no room for reducing the size of the proposed fee increases for pubs and clubs making use of music there.
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.