New UK Law Would Keep Tabs on Ticket Prices

Classic Arts News   New UK Law Would Keep Tabs on Ticket Prices
A bill being considered by the British government will force non-profit organizations, such as the Royal Opera House, to demonstrate their public benefit, the BBC reports.

The draft charities bill, introduced last May and subsequently examined by a joint committee of both houses of parliament, is aimed at "[helping] charities to develop their activities and services and to play an increasing role for good in society, while at the same time it gives the public confidence in the integrity of charities," according to the government's Home Office web site.

What this means for organizations such as the ROH is increased scrutiny of ticket prices.

According to the BBC, a Home Office official warned such charities to "expect the Charity Commission to take increasing interest in what you charge."

A spokesman for the ROH told the BBC that the performances in themselves justified the public benefit. "Our principle continues to be the presentation of opera and ballet performances at an international level at the opera house," he said.

The spokesman also stressed the ROH's educational programs and free public events, in London and around the country.

The government is considering the recommendations of the bill, which will likely be included in the Queen's speech at the opening of parliament in November, in which the government's aims for the following year are laid out.

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