24 November 2020
Tomorrow the Chancellor will make a statement on the 2020 Spending Review. As it stands, too many Equity members have not had any help during the Covid crisis - 40% have had nothing from Government support packages including the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
If this continues, those hardest hit by the pandemic - parents, carers, young workers, d/Deaf and disabled artists and those from working class backgrounds will be forced out of an already elitist industry.
We are calling on the Chancellor to immediately use the underspend from the Cultural Recovery Fund to:
1. Fund a Creatives Support Scheme, providing a basic income for low paid freelance and self-employed arts workers from Spring 2021
2. Establish a Live Performance Production Insurance Scheme akin to the Production Restart Scheme for Film and TV
Over the next 5 years we need to address the structural problems with the UK's arts funding system to deliver a balanced and sustainable cultural industry, accessible to all. The first step should be an increase in the DCMS budget from 0.3% to 0.5% of GDP, followed by extensive reform and democratisation of decision making in our sector - outlined in Equity's Performance for All policy manifesto.
Paul W Fleming, Equity General Secretary said: “We don’t just need to come out of a coronavirus pandemic: we need a new footing to end the pandemic of precarity for artists, creatives and entertainers. Our industries are a UK economic success story - with extra investment we don’t just protect that, we can be the keystone of the UK’s coronavirus recovery. Equity knows how - the Chancellor just needs to listen”