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Budget 2020 Coronavirus Measures: What Do They Mean For You?

The Government has today announced its budget for the coming months, with a focus on dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak.

Published: 11 March 2020 | 12:00 AM
Photograph of a box of tissues
There are some measures announced today that you may be able to benefit from. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The MU has been lobbying hard to ensure that its members will be protected during the current crisis, and there are some measures announced today that you may be able to benefit from.

If you are an employed musician – you will be entitled to statutory sick pay from the first day that you become ill, or if you are required to self-isolate.

For the self-employed – the Government will make benefits easier and quicker to apply for. They are temporarily removing the minimum income floor for universal credit and you will not need to attend a job centre in order to be able to claim.

The Chancellor also announced measures to allow the self-employed to defer tax payments. We will post further details when they are available.

Accessing financial support

Local authorities are being given a £500 million hardship fund to support vulnerable people. Further details are yet to be released but we will provide more detailed advice if it seems that members can apply for this.

Don’t forget that there are other sources for financial help during hardship, read more about our benevolent fund and other sources of financial support for musicians.

The Government must provide additional support for freelancers

MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge assured members that the MU will continue to lobby for further support:

“The measures announced in today’s budget are far from perfect, and the MU is aware that statutory sick pay and universal credit will not cover the loss of income faced by many members.

“We will continue to lobby the Government for additional support for freelancers and will update members on a regular basis.

“In the meantime, if you have any concerns about cancelled contracts, please contact your regional office.”

To find out more about how to access statutory sick pay or universal credit, please see the Department for Work and Pensions latest guidance.

Read more advice and guidance for musicians in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19), including information on how your work contract could be affected and signposts to further resources.

Take action

We're calling on Government to extend sick pay from day one to freelance workers affected by or self isolating due to coronavirus, find out how to support this action now.

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