UK Music Chief Welcomes Lifeline For Self-Employed - But Calls On Government To Offer Urgent Help

26/03/2020: UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl has welcomed the Government’s new support today for the self-employed as a “vital lifeline” for thousands in the UK music industry.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined the measures that will include a taxable grant worth 80% of average monthly profit over the last three years up to £2,500 a month - mirroring the help available to traditionally employed workers. 

The Chancellor said the scheme would initially last three months. It will apply to those with trading profits of up to £50,000 a year. He said the scheme would be only open to those who were already self-employed, had a self assessment 2019 tax return and would benefit 95% of those who were majority self-employed.

The Chancellor recognised in his statement that “musicians and sound engineers” were among the many self-employed workers who risked losing their livelihoods. However, Mr Sunak said the help would not be available until June.

UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl welcomed the measures, but called for immediate help for the self-employed battling to make ends meet who could not wait until June.

Mr Kiehl said: “The help outlined by the Chancellor for the self-employed will be a vital lifeline to thousands in the music industry where 72% of the workforce is self-employed.

“It is important the Chancellor recognised in his remarks that musicians and sound engineers are among the many in our sector who have seen their work dry up and need support fast.

“We need immediate and urgent help for the self-employed. People are in desperate need with bills to pay. They need financial support now and cannot wait until June for the scheme to kick in or wait weeks for payments under universal credit.

“The Chancellor should outline interim financial help for the self-employed to help them survive until the support scheme kicks in. He should make clear whether the support will be backdated.

“The Government should also clarify how this support scheme will affect mothers who have been on maternity leave and could lose out because their earnings will be misrepresented.

“There remains a need for support for those in the music industry that have not been self-employed for very long, including recent graduates, who will not qualify for this grant.

“We will continue to work with the Government to do everything we can to support everyone involved in the music industry at this immensely difficult time.”

Read the Chancellors speech here.

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