CDs and DVDs even more expensive

THE INCREASE in IVA (VAT) will push up the price of music, and harm musicians and artists, claims the Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa (AFP), the Portuguese phonographic association.

Authors, songwriters, musicians and record companies have joined forces to say the increase on music sales “is stupid” and will make the cost of music one of the highest in Europe.

For years, the music industry in Portugal has been trying to integrate music within the cultural goods bracket, with the same lower IVA rate as books and cinema tickets. “Because books and tickets are considered of cultural value, they are only taxed at five per cent and not 21 per cent,” argues Eduardo Simões, director of AFP. “It is stupid to suggest that music, which has an obvious cultural value for a society, should be treated as a luxury alongside top-of-the-range cars and jewellery.”

The issue has also been taken up by French media chain store, Fnac, over the past five years.

‘Strangulation to artistic creativity’

“Now it’s more urgent than ever to react against this measure and put pressure on the government to place music in the five per cent bracket, to protect our musical culture and make it more available for the wider public,” says Simões.

JP Simões, lead singer of former group Belle Chase Hotel, said the measure to raise taxes on music was “an act of extreme cowardice”.

“This increase will harm national repertoire at a time when many international record companies have already slashed Portuguese music from their rosters. We have to swallow this strangulation to artistic creativity because we cannot interfere with thieves’ money,” blasted JP Simões.