Wishart criticises UK Government for avoiding ticket tout crackdown
Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, has warned that music fans will continue to face being ripped off by ticket touts on resale sites such as Viagogo after UK Government ministers rejected recommendations to crack down on the sector.
The Department for Business and Trade recently decided not to implement proposals from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) designed to make it more difficult for ticket touts to exploit fans. The proposals included moves to stop bulk-buying and end the practice of ‘speculative selling’, where touts sell tickets for seats they don’t have in the hope of securing a ticket later on.
However, junior business minister, Kevin Hollinrake, dismissed the proposals, stating that sites such as Viagogo and StubHub “may still provide a service of value to some consumers.” He went on to say that it was “too soon” to conclude that legislation was required, adding that broader changes to consumer law were the priority.
FanFair Alliance, the music industry campaign group backed by artists such as Ed Sheeran and Arctic Monkeys, said the government was ignoring “overwhelming evidence of continuing bad practice.”
Mr Wishart has long called for the UK Government to step in on this matter. In 2018, he led a debate where he urged the UK Government to use the full force of the law to drive ticket touts out of business.
Commenting on this recent development, Mr Wishart said:
“The UK Government has for years failed to crack down on ticket touts despite countless warnings and proposals from an array of leading industry bodies. It’s latest dismissal of the CMA’s recommendations is yet another black mark on its abysmal track record in this matter.
“This essentially has given the green light for ticket touts to continue to cash in on their grubby practices at the expense of everyday people, which is particularly disgraceful in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.
“I know many of my constituents will be bitterly disappointed with this news as we enter festival season. In my constituency alone, we have several large-scale festivals such as Rewind and Otherlands coming up, and people should be able to enjoy events such as these without being forced to pay ridiculous amounts.”
-ENDS-Back to All Press Releases