Type : Conversation
Admin | 01 Nov 2020 00:33am
ISM comment on the new coronavirus restrictions for England
While safety must a priority, today’s announcement will have devastating consequences for the music industryReport Content
On 31 October (ironically Hallowe’en) Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new public health restrictions for England. He was joined by England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty and the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
Non-essential shops and hospitality will have to close for a month for England but educational institutions will be allowed to stay open. The lockdown also includes restrictions on travel and will last from 5 November to 2 December.
Chief Executive of the ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians), Deborah Annetts said: ‘While protecting the population must be a priority, today’s announcement by the Prime Minister will have devastating consequences for our world-leading music industry, which is already suffering from the impact of earlier restrictions. For months we have warned the government that self-employed musicians are in desperate financial difficulty whilst venues remain closed, with our highly-skilled workforce struggling to survive without an income since March and excluded from government support.
‘Now, with no prospect of future work on the horizon, the government has a moral duty to reform the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, maintaining the level of support at 70%, and expanding the eligibility criteria to include the estimated three million who have been excluded.
‘Before this crisis, music and the creative industries made an essential contribution to the health, wealth and culture of our nation. Unless the government introduces meaningful support, we are looking at the devastation of the performing arts and a permanent exodus of talent.’
- The UK creative industries contributed £111.7 billion in 2018, about £306 million every day. This was up 7.4% on the previous year, meaning growth in the sector was more than five times growth across the UK economy as a whole. (DCMS)
- Productivity in the arts and culture industry between 2009 and 2016 was greater than that of the economy as a whole, with gross value added per worker at £62,000 for arts and culture, compared to £46,800 for the wider UK economy. (Arts Council)
- Music contributed £5.2 billion to the UK economy in 2018 and music tourism alone contributed £4.5 billion spend up 12% from previous year. Employment in the industry hit an all-time high of 190,935 in 2018. (UK Music)
- Jobs in the performing arts are significantly less likely to be lost due to automation (Nesta Report)
- The arts, entertainment & recreation is the worst affected sector by coronavirus. (ONS)
- 64% of UK musicians are thinking about leaving the sector and 41% hadn’t received any government support during the pandemic. (Encore)
- Nearly 170,000 UK live sector jobs will be lost by the end of the year. (LIVE)
- 70% of people working in music, performing & visual arts are freelancers (DCMS).
- Arts Council England supported freelancers with £2 million compared to £5 million allocated in Scotland, £7 million in Wales and £4 million in Northern Ireland.
- 79% of musicians earn less than £30,000. (ISM)