Am I eligible for a PPL refund?

25 June, 2010

Q Iím making a claim to PPL for a refund of some of my music licence fee. I did the calculations myself but have been warned that I wonít get the full amount Iím entitled to simply because Iíve been a few weeks late with payment on a couple of occasions. Is that right???A Thousands of retailers are now making claims to PPL following last yearís Copyright Tribunal ruling that its price increases in 2005 Ė when some fees more than doubled Ė were unfair.

The tribunal capped increases at 10% a year which means you can back-claim for all the money you paid on top of that figure. Thereís a helpful form on the PPL website if you havenít been sent one.

But the ruling also said PPL can impose a 50% surcharge on shops which publicly performed recorded music without first obtaining or renewing their PPL licences. PPL says it will only apply the surcharge in cases where retailers were more than 28 days late with their payments.

There are exceptions to this, which again youíll find on the PPL site, but since PPL is paying out a whopping £20 million you can expect it to be a bit picky about making payments it doesnít have to. And bear in mind if surcharges take your refund entitlement down to £50 or less, you wonít receive a penny.

Q Is it true big stores are urging the government to scrap the current restrictions on Sunday trading? As a small trader I do good business on Sundays and donít want the current system abandoned.

A Itís true that a number of large retailers, including Boots, Selfridges and a number of clothing stores, wrote to former business secretary Peter Mandelson to argue for a relaxation in the current Sunday trading laws, which restrict shops with over 3,000sq ft of sales area to six consecutive hours on a Sunday.

But the Labour government showed no signs of taking up their case and the new administration has made no noises about relaxing Sunday trading either.

There would appear to be little public enthusiasm for such a change in the law. According to a poll commissioned by the Association of Convenience Stores, 76% of people support the current laws and only 19% oppose them.

Of those who donít agree with the current laws, 52% think there should be no Sunday opening at all Ė a scary thought for anyone who ever realises thereís no red wine to serve with the roast.

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