MPs from across the political divide have joined forces to call on PM Boris Johnson and the government to back plans to help the UK music industry get back on its feet.
A total of 22 MPs from the main political parties have signed a Commons motion outlining the vital support needed by the music industry, which contributed £5.8 billion a year to the economy pre-Covid-19.
The MPs say many freelancers and self-employed workers – who make up around three-quarters of the 200,000 in the music industry – have been without work since March 2020.
The cross-party group of politicians highlight how around 70% of musicians lost over three-quarters of their work due to the “profound challenge” of Covid-19 restrictions.
The MPs say the workers and businesses that make up the music industry’s ecosystem “are a national asset who will be critical to the recovery”.
In their motion, MPs are calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to:
- · Establish a government-backed insurance scheme to pave the way for live music events to proceed
- · Extend existing government support to match the extension of Covid-19 restrictions
- · Ensure parity across UK nations and regions regarding extension of the 100% business rate relief
- · Continue the VAT freeze at 5% for cultural tickets beyond September
- · Give additional support to freelancers
UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “It’s welcome to see support for the UK music industry from MPs right across the political spectrum. Now it’s vital that this cross-party support is converted into action by government.
“We are determined to play our part in helping drive the post-pandemic recovery and want to see live music events back as soon as possible. With the right support from the government, the music industry can get back on its feet and deliver a summer of live music and create thousands of jobs."
Now it’s vital that this cross-party support is converted into action by government
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music chair David Warburton MP said: “I’m acutely aware of how challenging this pandemic has been for musicians and the broader music industry – and this situation has only been made worse by the delay to the Covid roadmap.
“I’m delighted that the government has listed and extended the ban on commercial evictions and supported many music venues, but more support is urgently needed to match the extension of restrictions. Our excellent music industry is national asset and it needs our support, now more than ever.”
The motion is signed by representatives from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, The Green Party, Scottish National Party, Democrat Unionist Party and the Social Democratic and Labour Party.
Among those who have backed the motion are All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Music chair and Conservative MP David Warburton and former Shadow Culture Minister & DCMS Select Committee member Kevin Brennan.
Others who have also signed include: Liberal Democrat DCMS Spokesperson Jamie Stone, Green Party former leader & co-leader Caroline Lucas, former Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman and SNP Treasury spokesperson Alison Thewliss.
Early Day Motions are submitted for debate in the House of Commons, but without any fixed date. They highlight areas of concerns to MPs and their constituents.