After the delivery of the Budget speech last Wednesday, the Musician’s Union analysed the all the announced measures and arrived to the conclusion that, despite there are good news, there’s still work to be done.
The positive highlights are the extension of furlough and SEISS until September, and the widening of SEISS to include people who declared themselves self-employed in their 2019-20 tax returns. If you are eligible for one of these schemes, this will be a big help for you in the upcoming months. However, almost 40% of musicians don’t have access to either, and they are high risk of poverty and/or being forced to change professions, starting a new professional life with big disadvantages.
The areas where most pressure is needed are the unfair gaps still present in SEISS, and the fact that the £300m granted to the Culture Recovery Fund are not available for freelancers in England and Northern Ireland yet, despite the fact they have been so for Wales and Scotland.
What can you do to help? Music is a great way to get your thoughts out there! Check for example this song by Andi Hopgood, directed to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The band “Darts” also created a song for the Chancellor, inviting him to look into our situation with urgency:
You can also rely on the MU and the multiple campaigns they champion in behalf of the industry. They have extended their subscription holiday scheme to make easier for musicians to access support.