The Musicians Union (MU) has reached out with fresh calls to the UK government and Boris Johnson to not “neglect” the self-employed musicians as the new lockdown now looms in the next 2 days (Thursday the 5th of November). With the music industry all ready hurting from the las lockdown and the self-employed suffering as well from March with only a few getting some work in the recent months.
After the Sunday announcement from Downing Street with Boris Johnson saying that a second lockdown was coming in the next week, Johnson also mentioned the extension to the furlough scheme that has been set in place since the first lockdown in Mach. This led to a lot of self-employed workers (from all industries as well as the music industry) what will happen to them.
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UPDATE [2 Nov, 7pm] Government announced details of the nationwide lockdown in England, and extensions to the Government’s SEISS and furlough schemes UK-wide. SEISS is going up to 80% for November – but it is nowhere near parity with employed people as it goes back down to 40% in December. And there’s still no word on closing gaps in support that 38% musicians and 3m #ExcludedUK fall through Read our full #Lockdown2UK update at the link in bio. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ This morning @rishisunakmp said #SEISS will be expanded. This is critical. 70% musicians are unable to undertake more than a quarter of their usual work, and 36% do not have any work at all. Our members and all self employed people should receive an equal level of support as #furlough And the gaps that 38% musicians and 3m #ExcludedUK fall through must be closed. https://musiciansunion.org.uk/Home/News/2020/Nov/England-to-Go-Under-Nationwide-Lockdown [Image description: carousel of two slides. Slide 1: a screengrab of a tweet from BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Text says: Rishi Sunak says the PM will unveil more help for self employed: “what we have done, typically… is adjust the value of the grants, as we have adjusted the value of the support to those who are employed… you can expect us to do the same again” #R4Today Slide 2: a quote from MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge. Text says: Our members are creative, pioneering, entrepreneurial people who have invested a huge amount of time and money in honing their talent. They should be receiving an equal level of support as people on PAYE.] #MusiciansUnion #MusiciansLife #SelfEmployed #SelfEmployedLife #SelfEmployedMusician #FreelanceLife #LockdownUK #Covid19 #Covid19UK #Coronavirus #CoronavirusUK #FreelanceMusician #FreelancceMusicians #DIYMusician #DIYMusicians #FreelancersOfInstagram #MusiciansOfInstagram #LetMusicLive #LetTheMusicPlay #WeMakeEvents #MusicIsLife #KeepMusicLive #BehindEveryMusician
The furlough scheme is set in place to pay for up to 80% of workers’ wages in the event that they are out of work and cant work from home when their workplace is closed. Originally this was going to be cut as we exited the lockdown but has now been extended with the new lockdown quickly approaching. But this comes back to what will happen for those who are self-employed. Will they get equal treatment or like last time will they get forgotten for a large part of this lockdown.
In the first UK Lockdown, it was only after a couple of months that self-employed workers were able to apply for the ‘Self-Employed Income Support Scheme’ (SEISS) allowing them to receive payments for a percentage of what they would have earned. However, this didn’t help them fully with some still seeking Universal Credit benefits. The major problem is that the furlough scheme will help workers longterm and past the lockdown (until reduced) whereas the SEISS will not help the self-employed past Decembers end of the lockdown (2nd of December 2020)
This has to be a joke? Right? pic.twitter.com/hVpxOhkvf7
— Matthew Bourne (@SirMattBourne) October 12, 2020
This comes after the still fresh bitter feud between those in the creative industries and Rishi Sunak the Chancellor of the Exchequer after Sunak showed disregard for many of the creative workers telling them to “Retrain” even going as far as to have a promotional picture of a ballet dance saying she will retrain. This left a lot of creative workers feeling neglected and abandoned by the government after all the hard work they put out before the pandemic.
It should be noted that a large part of the government as well as the media branded these comments and posters as “Crass” and “not appropriate“. With the music industry and all creative industries being such a large part of everyone’s life and the lifeblood for a lot of self-employed workers we sincerely hope that the government won’t forget about all self-employed workers. Creative industries do more than a lot of people can imagine and their work deserves to be appreciated and cared for.