A report from the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee released today not only calls for sector specific support for musicians during the Covid-19 crisis, but also calls on the DCMS to investigate how to ensure a fairer reward for musicians in the age of streaming.
MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge appeared before the committee on 9 June to give evidence on the impact that COVID-19 has had on musicians. At the time he highlighted that nearly 40% of musicians did not qualify for either assistance scheme and called for:
- Extension of Government support schemes for our sector until normal work can be resumed
- Plugging of all gaps in the scheme
- A review into the streaming funding model
Main recommendations in report
Today’s report makes some excellent recommendations, which pick up on many of Horace’s points.
Some key points include that:
- There should be flexible sector specific versions of CJRS & SEISS for creative industries until their work and income returns to a sustainable level
- The Government must learn from the shortcomings of their support schemes and must recognise the importance of supply chains – without workers, there’s not much use for a venue beyond its inherent value
- The DCMS should investigate how a fairer streaming model could work
- There should be music tax relief – modelled on existing orchestra tax relief
Delighted at the committee’s report
Horace responded to the news:
“We are delighted that the committee has picked up on so many of the issues that I raised back in June, and I thank them for their work on this issue. The MU now calls on the Government to respond to this report in a positive way and act to protect and support musicians before it’s too late.
“Music is worth £5.2 billion to the UK economy and the Chancellor needs to bear that in mind. Our industry is the envy of the world, but we won’t retain it unless we invest in it during this difficult time. Our sector must have further financial support from the Government if it is to survive and resume pre-COVID levels of production”
He also welcomed the Committee’s recommendation to investigate the unfairness of the streaming model:
“At a time when the major record companies are making eye-watering profits it cannot be right that established musicians are left to rely on hardship funds. There needs to be a full review into the streaming model to see where the money is going, because it is not going to the musicians.”
Take action now
You can support the reports recommendation for the Government to act now to support musicians by continuing to ask the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to protect all self-employed workers, and ensure no musician is left behind.
You can use our template letter if you're not sure what to say. Remember to include how you are affected too. Personal stories make all the difference.
Write to Rishi now.