Equity responds to Chancellor's announcement of inadequate support package

Today Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of support for COVID-19 hit industries. Although it included an extra £30m to help theatres and museums, it does not provide any sort of financial support for the creative workforce.

“The lack of financial support for the creative workforce is shocking"

Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming has issued the following statement in response to the announcement: 

“The lack of financial support for the creative workforce in today's announcement from the Chancellor is a shocking example of government negligence when Equity members are staring into a winter of cancelled shows, bookings and performances.

Many producers, workplaces and artists are ineligible for Cultural Recovery Funding. Instead of another inadequate, vague, headline deal for bosses and buildings, we need an urgent plan to protect all those working in theatre and entertainment industries during this critical Christmas season. This must include:

  • A new furlough scheme – not SEISS – for performers and stage management currently working on Equity and Equity-like contracts.
  • Targeted support for creative team members, entertainers and variety artists through new grants.
  • Ending the Universal Credit minimum income floor and raising it by £20.
  • Increasing statutory sick pay and extending it to self-employed taxpayers.

Equity will continue fighting for all creative workers who need financial support to pay for housing, food, bills, heating in the weeks ahead. Today we are launching a lobbying campaign, calling on Government to implement these four demands and protect the creative workforce as the Omicron winter crisis unfolds."

Lobby your MP

Use our template letter to lobby your MP to support our four demands of UK government:

  • A new furlough scheme – not SEISS – for performers and stage management currently working on Equity and Equity-like contracts.
  • Targeted support for creative team members, entertainers and variety artists through new grants.
  • Ending the Universal Credit minimum income floor and raising it by £20.
  • Increasing statutory sick pay, and extending it to self-employed taxpayers.