CHARITIES have attacked new Government proposals that could force them to pay out £3m.

Ministers want charities to pay between £40 and £80 for a licence to play music in shops and at fundraising events.

Liz Atkins from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said: “Many charities rely on these small fundraising events to help them survive.

“This is a shameful way to treat voluntary organisations that help some of the most disadvantaged people in our society.”

A spokesman for the Intellectual Property Office, an agency for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which has proposed the idea, said: “We need to make sure musicians receive fair award for their creativity and that means charities need to pay for the services they use.”

MPs are to vote whether to bring in the licence fee. If accepted it is expected to come into effect on April 1.