Rock legend SIR Elton John is among hundreds of musicians calling on the EUROPEAN UNION (EU) to cut Value Added Tax (VAT) on CDs.

More than 1,200 international stars including Sir Elton, Tom Jones, CHRIS DE BURGH and opera singer Andrea Bocelli have signed a petition which was presented to the EU in Brussels, Belgium, today (03JUN03).

They want recorded music to be classed in line with other cultural products such as books, newspapers and theatre tickets - which attract reduced VAT rates.

Belgian pop star ALEX CALLIER and German singer ROLF ZUCKOWSKI presented the petition, which has been sent to the 20 European Commissioners.

Callier, from the band HOOVERPHONIC, says, " When someone buys a biography of JACQUES BREL in Belgium he pays a VAT rate of 6 per cent, but if he buys a CD of his music he has to pay 21 per cent.

"This makes no sense and does not recognise the cultural role of musical artists."

03/06/2003 21:07