All museums are facing financial pressures, but there may be ways of relieving these pressures. One obvious route would be to re-examine VAT provisions, particularly relevant where museums are engaged in large construction programmes. If all registered museums were entitled to recover VAT, irrespective of whether or not they charged for admission, the economic argument for introducing admission charges would be far less clear.
We believe that access to public collections should continue to be free of charge. It seems most unfortunate that the important principle of public use and access, expressed in the 19th-century legislation, should now be abandoned.
Scottish Museums Council