The MU has welcomed the announcement in today’s Budget that the rates of theatre and orchestra tax relief will be maintained at their current levels for a further two years from April. West End, Regional and Touring theatres and the UK's orchestras provide significant work opportunities for musicians including freelancers.
The MU had lobbied strongly for the higher rates of 45% and 50% respectively to be extended to help the sector to recover from the dual impacts of COVID 19 and the cost of living crisis.
MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl says:
‘We are very grateful that the Government has listened to the MU and others in the arts sector and extended the higher rate of tax relief for theatres and orchestras for another two years.
The announcement by Arts Council England (ACE) in the autumn, and the BBC's proposals to make job cuts to its Performing Groups in England last week, are a stark reminder of the difficulties faced by arts organisations in the current climate, so this extra injection of cash is a vital lifeline for an important sector”.
Creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the wider UK economy
As noted by the Chancellor today, the creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the wider UK economy and the uplifted rate of tax relief has been driving a much higher rate of activity and employment in the sector than would otherwise have been possible.
That said, at the MU we hope that the money provided by this extension of tax relief does translate into more work, secure jobs and better pay and conditions for the musicians, performers and other creatives who drive this exceptionally successful sector. Musicians are also struggling financially and need more security and work opportunities at this time.
Other Headline Announcements in today’s Budget
- Energy Bills – Government subsidies limiting typical household energy bills to £2500 a year extended until the end of June 2023
- 30 hours of free childcare for working parents in England expanded to cover one and two year olds
- Tax free allowances for pensions to rise