George Osborne has been keen to trumpet giveaways on the personal allowance and the higher rate, but it seems actual trumpeters might be left somewhat brassed off when they hear the details of a government plan for orchestra tax relief.
A consultation document on the proposals stipulates that to qualify for the relief, ensembles "must include players drawn from each of the following four sections: string instruments, woodwind instruments, brass instruments and percussion instruments" – brass bands, apparently, are to be left out in the cold.
Warley MP John Spellar said:-
"Buried away in the small print of his Budget is a betrayal of brass bands – not to mention steel bhangra and bagpipe bands and all the other groups who won’t get the benefit of this tax break because they aren’t considered worthy," he railed.
“Snobby Osborne is showing his true colours. He’s completely out of touch."