Saturday - 20 December 2014

Government's inadequate response to Resale Right campaign

19 June 2012Written by Ivan Macquisten

COMMENT: As reported last week, the postcard campaign launched by art dealer Niall Fairhead in a bid to raise the threshold for the Artist's Resale Right has made progress, attracting more signatories for the online petition and eliciting answers from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Now, we learn, personal replies have started to arrive from the relevant Business & Enterprise department and are as disappointingly equivocal as ever.

Whether the minister responsible will show any more backbone in standing up for British business remains to be seen, but the frankly astonishing statement that nothing can be done without evidence being put forward to show the damaging effects on the art trade beggars belief. What do they think has been laid before Whitehall time and again over the past decade, and continues to be submitted, both through the online petition and other means?

On Wednesday, June 13, the front page lead report in The Times quoted the Chancellor George Osborne as urging business leaders "to be much more vocal in helping the Conservatives to make the case for a low tax economy and a smaller State".

As we pointed out when Prime Minister David Cameron spoke out strongly against the financial transaction tax being proposed for the City by the EU, ARR is an exact parallel for the British art trade... all of which begs the question: Just how loud must we shout before the Government takes note?

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