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Musicians' Movement and ISM Letter to the Chancellor

The Musicians' Movement Forum, which has over 16,000 members on Facebook and is a campaigning group led by musicians Phil Meadows and Christopher Barrett, has collaborated with the ISM on a letter to the Chancellor.

Photograph of a brass instrument being played in an orchestral context. We are close to the instrument, but can see music stands and more musicians blurred in the background.
We all share the objective to get musicians back to work safely as soon as possible and have them supported properly by the Government in the meantime. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The letter calls for a Freelance Performers' Support Package and an extension to the Self Employed Income Support Scheme to sustain musicians over the winter.

The MU supports the broad principles of the letter which has been signed by many individual performers and representatives of industry organisations such as Help Musicians.

We are also in support of the One Voice campaign, which calls for a Eat Out to Help Out style scheme for the live performance sector.

Our current key lobbying asks include:

  • Ensuring that the new Self Employment Income Support Scheme is applicable to musicians
  • Plugging the gaps in the Self Employment Income Support Scheme
  • Expanding the SEISS to cover more than 20% of monthly profits
  • Measures to make sure re-opening venues is economically viable

We share the objective to get musicians back to work

Horace Trubridge, MU General Secretary, said:

“Many musicians have formed or joined online campaigning groups during the Covid-19 crisis in order to amplify the message that they need more support from the Government, and we are pleased to support these grassroots movements. We all share the objective to get musicians back to work safely as soon as possible and have them supported properly by the Government in the meantime.

“As things stand, 70% of MU members are currently unable to do more than a quarter of their usual work. In the meantime, we desperately need the Chancellor to expand the SEISS to cover more than 20% of monthly profits and plug the gaps that mean that 38% of musicians are ineligible for the wage support schemes.

"We are also urging the Treasury and the DCMS to allow Arts Council England to distribute some of the £1.57 billion dedicated to culture to individual freelancers – as the devolved administrations have done in Wales and Scotland.”

The Union continues its work to ensure musicians receive the support they need. Read our latest lobbying update. MU members can also keep up with the lobbying work we're doing through UK Music.


Published: 15/10/2020

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