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Lobbying Update: Feeling like Groundhog Day, But The Impact is Real

With the budget coming up on 3 March, getting our message through to Rishi Sunak is more important than ever and we thank every member who has been involved in this effort.

Photo ofIsabelle Gutierrez
By Isabelle Gutierrez Published: 02 February 2021 | 11:54 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:32 PM
Photograph of a groundhog, standing in a patch of green grass with an open mouth and what could be imagined as quite a cross expression on its face.
The task now is getting the Treasury to take action and we will be ramping up our campaigning starting today. Photo credit: Shutterstock

It can feel like Groundhog Day, going over the same things again and again, but the impact can be seen in the hundreds of MPs speaking up for financially ‘excluded’ people on a weekly basis in parliament.

The task now is getting the Treasury to take action and we will be ramping up our campaigning starting today – details of actions members can take were highlighted in an email sent early this morning, and are repeated at the end of this story.

Investing in individual musicians will shore up the industry

As well as fighting on a daily basis for the 38-50% of our members who still do not qualify for either of the Government’s financial assistance schemes, we are also lobbying the Treasury to allow DCMS and Arts Council England (ACE) to make some of the Cultural Recovery Fund available as support for freelancers as has happened in the devolved nations.

We would also very much like to see the Treasury, DCMS and ACE top up project funds from the remaining Cultural Recovery Fund as a way of investing in musicians.

Funds available for individuals to make work happen will shore up the industry for its post-pandemic recovery and will provide an alternative to hardship grants – enabling musicians to create and keep working during this difficult period.

Briefing MPs and looking ahead

The Government has announced that schools will not reopen until 8 march and that it won’t even begin setting out how lockdown measures might be eased until the week of the 22 February, so we are continuing to brief MPs on musicians’ issues so they can represent us in parliament.

This week’s meetings include Florence Eshalomi and Jamie Stone – and Horace has met with Labour Shadow Chancellor Annaliese Dodds.

We know how important this summer might be for musicians trying to recover from a difficult year of restrictions, so the news that Glastonbury has been cancelled was a blow to the whole industry. We have been told by a number of sources that the Government is considering an insurance scheme for festivals and other live events but we urge them to make an announcement on this as soon as possible.

Take part in today’s MU Groundhog Day of Action

Let’s get the Chancellor’s attention:

  • Make a copy of this graphic via Google Slides
  • Customise it to tell your own story
  • Post it across socials on Tuesday 2 February – use the hashtag #InvestInMusicians
  • Tag us @WeAreTheMU on Twitter and Instagram, or @Musicians.Union on Facebook and we’ll share it too

If you’re unsure you can also look at our more detailed instructions, or email campaigns@theMU.org.

Did you get involved in our last day of action on Wednesday 13 January? Share your Invest in Musicians graphic again – together with your message to Rishi Sunak.

Look out for more actions to come

We’ll be sharing more things to do in the run up to 3 March.

Until then, make sure you’re caught up with all the actions so far:

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