Sport, arts and culture industries launch anti tax rise alliance

The Carre theatre. Photo: Nathan Reinds

The Dutch football association KNVB, hospitality industry lobby group KHN, the book sector, theatres and museums are launching a joint campaign to fight the next government’s plans to increase value-added tax on most sport, recreation and entertainment.

The four parties who plan to form a right-wing government before the end of June said last week they aim to put up the tax from 9% to 21% on books, hotels, museum visits, newspapers and festival tickets, but not for cinemas, amusement parks and campsites.

The alliance will launch its campaign on Monday, the day before MPs are due to debate the outgoing government’s spring financial statement.

The four parties say the increase in btw will generate €2.2 billion a year for the treasury. Campaigners say it will add 11% to the price of tickets and hit cultural institutions that get no government subsidy hardest.

The decision to increase value-added tax on culture and the arts, including books and newspapers, will also have a knock-on effect on family spending, the government’s macro-economic think tank CPB said last week.

The measure is also the least popular of all the plans unveiled by the new coalition, according to an Ipsos poll last week. Just over half of those polled oppose the decision to increase value-added tax on cultural activities and books and only 28% support it.

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