Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, is abolishing an exemption for charities from music licensing rules – hitting them with huge bills for holding events with recorded music. Community groups say they will be forced to abandon hundreds of services for the elderly and children because of the new rules. Abolition of the exemption will affect old people's homes, charity discos, tea dances, youth clubs, salsa groups, sports clubs, coffee mornings and even charity shops which have a radio in their staff room.
Ian Swales, Liberal Democrat prospective MP for Redcar said "this is a typical New Labour move. A hasty change to legislation with no consultation and little thought of the consequences. Once again we can expect a public outcry, more Government spin and a complicated climb down. In the meantime I will have to eliminate the music round from the occasional quiz that I run for a local organisation.