COVID-19: Write to your MP about employer contributions to the Job Retention Scheme

Early Day Motion 545: Government support for the UK's cultural and creative industries, tabled on 2 June 2020, calls for a long-term financial support package for the creative sectors, including the music industry. This template letter can be used to ask your MP to put their name to this EDM, and to help kick-start the essential conversation about how the music sector survives the dual challenge of COVID-19 and Brexit.

The EDM can be viewed here: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57019/government-support-for-the-uks-cultural-and-creative-industries

Letter

Name of local MP
Constituency address

[Date]

Dear [Name of your local MP]

As one of your constituents I am writing to ask that you sign Early Day Motion 545: Government support for the UK's cultural and creative industries, tabled on 2 June 2020. The EDM can be viewed here: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57019/government-support-for-the-uks-cultural-and-creative-industries

The EDM is calling for an ambitious government-led response to the substantial challenges facing the UK creative industries, which incorporates long-term financial support similar to that which has recently been provided in Germany. The government there has put together a €50 billion rescue package for the music and wider creative sector.

This EDM rightly recognises the “enormous” economic and social value of the UK’s cultural and creative industries, and it is estimated that the UK music industry alone contributes £5.2bn to the UK economy each year, while the broader creative sector contributes £111.7bn per year and have been growing five times faster than the national economy (DCMS 2019). To put this in to context, the UK fishing industry is estimated to be worth around £1.4 billion per year.

Yet there is a clear and present danger that without substantial government support the creative sectors, especially the music sector, will not survive in their present, vibrant form. This would be a disaster for the UK economy, and our country's global reputation.

With social gathering restrictions set to stay in place for the foreseeable future there will be no immediate return to business as usual for large parts of the music sector, especially the thousands of music and performance venues that require near full capacity crowds to turn a small profit. For example, the Southbank Centre, which is the UK’s largest arts and cultural organisation, warned that it will have used up its financial reserves by September, forcing its closure until April 2021 unless it gets further government support.

In New Zealand, the government there has provided a support package worth $175 million, to support artists, musicians and venues, with the ultimate aim of saving thousands of jobs in this "decimated" industry.

Modelling based on NZ Treasury forecasts suggests that without this government intervention, the cultural sector there will be hit roughly twice as hard as the rest of the economy, and 11,000 jobs could be lost within a 12-month period.

When we consider both that COVID-19 has hit the UK substantially harder than it has New Zealand, and that our creative sector is substantially larger than New Zealand’s, the seriousness of the challenges ahead becomes clear – as does the need for urgent and substantial intervention.

This intervention must be accompanied by the immediate expansion of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which as organisations such as the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) have highlighted, is not as comprehensive in its coverage as it needs to be. As a result, many self-employed professionals in the music sector cannot access financial support from government at a time when they desperately need it. The ISM has outlined a number of necessary changes to the scheme, and I encourage you to engage with these as well as supporting Early Day Motion 545.

So I am asking that you sign this EDM and add your voice to the growing calls for a long-term support package for the creative sectors, especially the music industry.

Yours sincerly,
[Your name]
[Your address]

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