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UK Stars Call For Taxes On iPhones And Macs To Help Fund Creative Arts

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Several major artists and stars in the UK, including Oscar winner Olivia Colman, have called for a tax on devices like the iPhone to raise millions of pounds to help fund artists.

Released Monday, the Smart background is proposed as a way to raise up to £ 300 million ($ 415 million) per year, which will go towards funding creative industries in the UK. To achieve this, the project offers that a small tax could be applied to the sales of technology in the country.

A tax of between 1% and 3% of the sales value of smartphones, computers and other devices that are “designed to allow people to store and download content” is proposed, which would be entered into a central fund and then would distribute to content producers.

The fund believes this will help creators “make a living from their content, support and bring communities together and put different parts of the UK on an equal footing”. It also claims that there are similar projects in existence in 44 countries around the world, collectively raising 930 million pounds ($ 1.29 billion) in 2018 alone.

Famous sponsors include Olivia Colman, Imelda Staunton, Yinka Shonibare, Sir Frank Bowling, and Rachael Whiteread, among others. There are also claims that the Smart Fund is an opportunity to help creators across the country who were adversely affected by COVID-19, due to venue closures and event cancellation.

“Working with the tech industry and innovators in this sector, we want to support creators and performers, to rebuild and enable the UK’s world-leading cultural heritage, tourism and creative industries and contribute to its soft power. and international standing, “according to Gilane Tawadros, CEO of the Design and Artists Copyright Society. “The arts give sustenance to the engine room of regeneration, recovery and cultural renewal of the entire country”

While the project has received considerable attention in the country in a short span of time, it appears that it serves more as a call to action than an official proposal to the UK government itself. The UK also has numerous existing projects to fund the arts, including regional grants Art tips financed by the National Lottery.

Critics are also concerned that it could appear as a tax on consumer spending. “It is an arbitrary consumer tax that is hugely bureaucratic to administer and without transparency on how funds are disbursed and spent,” said a Tech UK spokesperson. toward BBC, adding that consumers may wonder why they have to pay an additional tax in addition to “a significant amount of VAT”.

In 2019, the UK parliament found that arts and culture contributed 10.47 billion pounds ($ 14.5 billion) to the economy, helping finance an estimated 226,000 jobs.

While devices that can view content are apparently the target of the campaign, there is an argument that the major companies funding the content in the first place could be a source of additional funding. For example, Netflix is ​​estimated to spend 260 million pounds (360 million) in the first two seasons of the drama “The Crown,” a show starring Colman, and the service also plans to spend $ 17 billion on new content globally in 2021.

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