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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
BPI wants tax breaks for new acts
James Blunt
The recording industry invests 17% of its turnover in new music
The UK recording industry says it should get tax breaks for finding the next generation of recording artists.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) wants its members to be eligible for tax credits which are currently awarded to businesses conducting research.

Such a system would lead to "greater investment" in new music, said BPI chairman Peter Jamieson.

The BPI was responding to a government programme which is seeking advice on how to make the UK more creative.

It says its members should be eligible for the Treasury's research and development tax credits because they spend 17% of their turnover on finding new artists.

That figure is roughly equal to the amount pharmaceutical companies spend on research and development, says the BPI.

'Creative hub'

The Department for Culture Media and Sport launched its Creative Economies Programme in November last year.

It aims to make the UK the "world's creative hub" by addressing issues such as training, finance and intellectual property.

But the BPI has raised concerns about the scope of the programme.

It says initial reports concentrate too much on how the government could "micro-manage" creative industries.

The BPI says the government's role should be to provide a framework for such businesses, rather than intervening in how they are run.

It has recommended the formation of an independent body which would act as an intermediary between the government and the creative industries.

Ministers are now reviewing the BPI's recommendations, along with those from other branches of the creative industries.

They hope to produce a policy paper in early 2007.

More than two million people work in creative industries in the UK, which includes businesses such as music, film, fashion, publishing and software.

In 2003, they accounted for 11.6bn of the UK's exports - more than 4% of the total amount of goods and services sent abroad.

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