19/03/2020: Music industry and charity leaders have joined forces to urge the Chancellor to draw up a package of urgent measures to help the crisis-hit sector fight the impact of the coronavirus.
In a joint letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, they have warned the Government that many companies in the UK music industry face “an existential battle for survival” and that the current welfare system is not devised for a situation where the Government is strongly advising the music sector to stop work.
Specifically regarding freelancers, who make up an estimated 72% of the workforce, the signatories advocate a targeted approach to guaranteed income for the live performers, peripatetic music teachers, composers, managers, engineers and producers.
Their letter says: “It is vital that the Government does everything it can to support the music industry with an urgent package of measures so we can do our best to weather this pandemic.
“The Government must now act swiftly to do whatever it takes to safeguard the future of our world-leading industry.”
Other measures the Chancellor is asked to urgently consider are: VAT holidays for businesses; help with staff wages; more clarity about the effective ban on mass events; and ensuring that insurance companies are accountable and follow proper protocols on claims.
The signatories to the letter to the Chancellor are:
Tom Kiehl, Acting CEO, UK Music
Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive, Incorporated Society of Musicians
James Ainscough, CEO, Help Musicians
Horace Trubridge, General Secretary, Musicians Union
Annabella Coldrick, CEO, Music Managers Forum
Graham Davies, CEO, The Ivors Academy
Olga FitzRoy, Executive Director, Music Producers Guild