14 December 2020
In response to Health Secretary Matt Hancock's announcement today that London and parts of the South East of England will enter Tier 3 from Wednesday, Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming has issued the following statement.
Equity’s industrial agreements got theatre started again, safely, in London and the South East. Now, like their counterparts already under local lockdown elsewhere, performers, stage management, creatives and variety artistes in London, Essex and Kent face a winter in the cold due to a government in chaos.
When we locked down nationwide in March it was unexpected and unavoidable. Today, this is only happening as a result of the government’s incoherent economic and public health plan which closes theatres while other sectors remain open.
With 40% of Equity members having received nothing from furlough or SEISS since this crisis began in March, the long term effects of this short term decision making could be fatal.
The government urgently needs to give our freelance and employed members real income support, and meaningfully invest in theatre and variety to make sure our industries – worth as much to the UK as banking – survive the pandemic.
Paul W Fleming
Equity General Secretary