Wednesday, 16 November, 2005
Wednesday, 12 October, 2005
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This is one of those stories that really makes you question whether or not the people running this country are, in fact, up to the job and should we seriously consider replacing the whole lot of them with the cast of the Simpsons and be done with it?
The Guardian is reporting today that almost all of the country's orchestras are under threat of imminent closure after it was discovered changes in the law designed to help actors may well mean a huge tax bill for the country's tune-smiths.
Alterations to National Insurance payments that were intended to help pay for benefits for out of work actors may well apply to musicians. If Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (yes they really are called that!), the UK's tax body, determines this is the case then the estimated bill, including back taxes, is put at £33 million. Such a payment would, almost certainly, lead to the closure of most of the country's ensemble's
At this juncture we would like to point out to our overseas readers that almost all arts activity in the UK is funded by the Government or to put it another way, tax payers! The irony of this particular situation would be amazingly funny were it not so ridiculous.
Arts Council England (ACE) appears confident that this situation can be resolved without throwing large numbers of people out onto the street and selling their instruments for scrap metal and fire wood. The information brought to light in the article was actually leaked to the BBC and reported by the Guardian, meaning nobody was supposed to know about it.
Anyone wishing the come and live in this unintentionally hilarious country should make there application to the Home Office on the back of a used $50 bill (the euro isn't worth much these days!)
It may or may not be true that dance companies are soon to be expected to shell out additional taxes to cover the cost of subsidies to farmers so they can afford to eat. No one from the Department of Perpetual Idiocy could be contacted for comment.