A cross-party group of MPs have come together to call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government to back plans to help the UK music industry get back on its feet following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group includes 22 MPs from a number of the main political parties, who’ve signed a House of Commons motion outlining the kind of support that is much-needed by the music industry following months of event and tour cancellations, plus other damage to industry infrastructure.
The MPs point out that many freelancers and self-employed workers – who make up around three-quarters of the 200,000 people within the music industry – have been without work since March 2020 when the UK entered its first COVID-19 lockdown. The group have also highlighted that 70% of musicians lost over three-quarters of their work due to the “profound challenge” of COVID-19 restrictions.
The MPs’ motion is calling on Boris Johnson to Establish a government-backed insurance scheme to help ensure live music events can proceed; extend existing government support to match the extension of COVID-19 restriction; continue the VAT freeze at 5% for cultural event tickets beyond Septembe; and give additional support to freelancers.
The group points out that the UK’s music industry contributed £5.8 billion a year to the economy before COVID-19, and supporting the industry out of the pandemic is therefore essential.
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music chair David Warburton MP said: “I’m acutely aware of how challenging this pandemic has been for musicians and the broader music industry – and this situation has only been made worse by the delay to the COVID-19 roadmap.
“I’m delighted that the government has listed and extended the ban on commercial evictions and supported many music venues, but more support is urgently needed to match the extension of restrictions. Our excellent music industry is national asset and it needs our support, now more than ever.”
This latest call on the government for more support follows warnings in February from various sector spokespeople.