Ask your MP to support a new targeted and tailored financial support package

Writing to your local MP is an effective way to help our campaign for a new targeted and tailored financial support package for freelancers in the creative sector. If you are writing from the devolved nations, then you may wish to use our templates for Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland instead.

You can also read more about our recommendations here or see our advice on writing letters before you get started.

Your first-hand experiences are vital for persuading politicians to support our campaigns. That’s why we have included some suggestions for how you can personalise this template letter so that it feels more personal.

    If you are sending an email rather than a letter, then you do not need to include your address and your subject line should refer to the campaign and say something like “Please support freelancers in the creative sector”.

    If you do send an email, please also CC in: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] and [email protected]

    For a clean copy to use, you can download the template letter Word version at the bottom of the page.

    To share your feedback about our template letter or would like to know more about campaigning work, please email [email protected].

    Template letter

    [Name of local MP]

    [Constituency address]

    [Date]


    Dear [Name of your local MP]

    I am writing to you as one of your constituents and as one of the many thousands of self-employed musicians who have had no work since March 2020. The music sector was worth over £5.2bn but now finds itself on the brink of catastrophe. Why not personalise the start of the letter with your personal experience as an ISM member?


    You could add in some examples about how the current crisis has affected your work and life generally.

    Thousands of freelance musicians and the associated workforce have been unable to work since March 2020. The music sector was worth over £5.2bn but now finds itself on the brink of catastrophe. Steps taken by the Government earlier this year were positive, but much more needs to be done if disaster is to be averted.

    The Incorporated Society of Musicians, of which I am a member, is now calling for the creation of a ‘Freelance Performers’ Support Scheme’, would enable venues and performance spaces to apply for grant funding for live music events. It would facilitate the reopening of music venues within social distancing guidelines, enable the return of live performances, and provide a guaranteed fee for performers like me. Musicians across the UK are mobilising and uniting around these measures because they are efficient, effective and proportionate.

    This would be coupled with a cultural exemption on VAT for all tickets in both the commercial and non-commercial sector. Combined, this would offer a lifeline to my community which has seen 23% of businesses reporting moderate to severe risk of insolvency, and 51% of its employed workforce furloughed. I desperately want to return to work safely and I believe this proposal by the ISM will allow me to do this.You could add in more information here about why you want to return to work and how this proposal will help you.
    I fully support these proposals as a bridging scheme from when some venues can reopen until the music sector can fully go back to work. However, as the country fights the second wave of coronavirus, I also need short-term financial relief during the current emergency measures until venues start to reopen. But unfortunately, the Winter Economy Plan is simply not sufficient. The recently announced new self-employment scheme has reduced the amount which can be claimed from 70% to a mere 20% of average monthly trading profits. I cannot survive on this reduction and I would be forced to leave the profession I love, which I have worked in and studied for so long.What is the impact of reducing the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to 20% on your life?


    You can find out more about the reduction to the SEISS here.

    Myself and thousands of other freelance musicians are calling on the government to maintain the existing level of support at 70% and expanding the eligibility criteria to include more creative freelancers, particularly those whose income is derived from a mixture of employed and self-employed work. Musicians are dynamic entrepreneurs who only need support until the necessary safety precautions are eased and the sector can reopen.

    The recent comments made by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, urging professional musicians like me in jobs deemed unviable to move into ‘better’ careers, were profoundly distressing. They were followed by a similar proposal by the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions. I am sure that they misspoke because the UK’s creative industries were growing at five times the rate of the economy and employment was growing at four times the rate of the UK workforce as whole.How did you feel when you heard two senior politicians say that your job was unviable and you should move into a better career?

    On so many levels music makes a positive contribution to our society. So far from being unviable, music is essential to my life and to our society. Please can I ask you to raise these concerns in Parliament and ask for the creative sector to receive the help it so desperately needs. I hope that you, as my local MP, will do everything you can to help at this difficult time.

    Yours sincerely

    [Your name]

    [Your address]

    Additional suggestions

    To make your letter more personal to you, here are some ideas of examples from your own experience to bring in and suggestions for where to include them in the letter template.

    Letter templateWhat could you add to the letter?
    “…the arts, entertainment & recreation is the sector worst affected by coronavirus.” How has the music community in your local area been affected?
    “…until venues can reopen at full capacity then musicians cannot transition back to work.” What has the closure of venues meant to you?
    “Both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme have been vital lifelines for those eligible to receive them.” Did you receive either of these schemes? If so, how did it help you? Or if not, why not?
    “…many are in desperate financial difficulty.” Are you willing to share the financial challenges that you are facing to help the MP understand the situation?
    “…the government risks an exodus of highly skilled talent.” Are you willing to talk about your career challenges to help the MP understand the situation?

    If you want to add more detail to your letter to the MP, then you can choose to add in some of the following pieces of evidence. If you choose to include them, make sure you include the sources so that the MP knows these are credible statistics.

    • The UK music industry, generates enormous cultural and economic value. It contributes £5.2 billion to the economy and £2.7 billion in export revenue, sustaining 191,000 full-time jobs1. Music also underpins the UK’s second place in the Portland Soft Power Index2.
    • Music, performing and visual arts are projected to lose £11 billion in revenue (-54%) and 57% of jobs (178,000)3. Forecasts predict that the impact on creative freelancers will be twice as worse than PAYE workers across the sector, with 287,000 freelance contracts estimated to be terminated by the end of 20203.
    • A recent survey4 by Encore Musicians found that 64% of UK musicians are thinking about leaving the music business altogether. Since March, 40% have applied for a non-music job, and 41% of the 568 respondents hadn’t received any government support during the disruption of the pandemic.

    Sources:

    1 https://www.ukmusic.org/research/music-by-numbers/

    2 https://softpower30.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/The-Soft-Power-30-Report-2019-1.pdf

    3 https://www.creativeindustriesfederation.com/news/press-release-cultural-catastrophe-over-400000-creative-jobs-could-be-lost-projected-economic

    4 https://encoremusicians.com/blog/musicians-leaving-music-industry/

    Template letter for MP

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