THE MP for Bury North has waded into an argument about “ticket touting” for high-profile music concerts and events.
David Nuttall says he does not believe the secondary ticketing market is a “huge problem”, and that legislation to combat it is not necessary.
Tickets for major events often end up on websites which are not the primary point of sale, for hugely inflated amounts of money.
For example, tickets for the high-profile concerts by the Stone Roses at Heaton Park in July, 2012, were being advertised on secondary ticketing websites for more than £1,000 after tickets had sold out, having had an original value of £55.
More recently tickets for Monty Python reunion shows in London, where the lowest priced tickets cost £25, were then being sold online for at least three times as much.
Mr Nuttall was speaking during a debate in the House of Commons, where North East Labour MP Sharon Hodgson was calling for legislation to crack down on the issue.
Mrs Hodgson said the secondary ticket was “bad for consumers”, and called on the Government to step in.
She said: “Many never get a chance to buy a ticket at face value, and if they can bear the cost of going to the secondary market, they do not know who they are buying from or whether the ticket will be genuine or still valid, as event-holders have the right to cancel tickets they identify as having been re-sold.”
However Mr Nuttall said he would oppose any introduction on controls of the secondary ticketing market.
After the debate, he said: “The ability for the owner of a ticket to be able to sell it to who they want at the price they want is a fundamental require-ment of the free market. If whoever buys the tickets from the promoters chooses to sell them on, I do not believe it is the job of government to inter-fere.
“If people do not want to buy from someone other than the promoter they do not have to, and of course it is only because there are lots of people who do which enables the practice to thrive.”
A cross-party group has been set up to investigate the scale of the problem.