Write to your local MP: Musicians excluded from financial support
We are aware that many of our membership continue to be excluded from the financial support packages the Government has introduced since the start of the pandemic.
We continue to lobby the Government to improve the forms of support to include freelance musicians who have been excluded since April 2020.
Writing to your local MP will assist us in our lobbying work and with more people pressuring the Government on the same issue, we are more likely to get a response and action. You can read more about our advice on writing letters before you get started. Your first-hand experiences are vital for persuading politicians to support our campaigns. So make sure to use your own situation and experience to make it more personal.
If you send an e-mail to your local MP, please cc us in at [email protected] and do contact us to share your feedback about our template letter, or if you would like to know more about campaigning work.
[Address of local MP]
Dear [insert local MP name]
RE: Financial support for excluded musicians
As one of your constituents, I am writing to ask if you will contact the Treasury on my behalf urging the Government to introduce financial support for those who have been excluded from the existing schemes since April.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the music industry and threatened the livelihoods of musicians across the UK. The ONS reported that the arts, entertainment & recreation is the worst affected sector by coronavirus and the situation for us as musicians is particularly concerning.
Venues in our constituency were not able to platform my work or open to audiences due to safety restrictions or because, while permitted, it was not economical to do so with reduced audience capacity. [Insert short description of personal circumstances and the importance of music in your constituency]
For thousands of people, the SEISS has been a vital lifeline. However, the grant only benefits those eligible to receive it and it cannot be forgotten that an estimated three million self-employed workers continue to be excluded. Therefore, further measures are essential for preventing an exodus of highly skilled talent from our world-leading arts sector. There is a precedent for addressing the gaps in the financial support schemes for those excluded. On 23 November 2020, the Northern Ireland Assembly announced it would introduce £20m for company directors, a group that has been excluded from previous support. More recently, on 10 February 2021, the Welsh Government announced it will be directing a further £8.9 million from the cultural recovery fund to support creative sector freelancers who have been unable to work since March 2020. This has given me the confidence that something can be done to offer meaningful income for those of us who remain excluded.
Moreover, these measures can be affordable. In fact, the Institute for Fiscal Studies published a recent report which showed that the cost for extending support to those excluded would be extremely low. The research suggests financial support could be provided for 1.3 million of those excluded from existing measures, for as little as 1% of the cost of the SEISS and furlough schemes.
While welcome, the additional £300 million funding announced in the 2021 Budget for the arts must go towards supporting individuals rather than organisations and venues. Unfortunately to date, the cultural recovery fund has done very little to support the estimated 700,000 creative freelancers like myself.
Please will you write to the Treasury making the case that financial support for those excluded is vital to the protection of musicians’ livelihoods who have been left without meaningful income since March 2020?
I hope you will seriously consider my request to help support musicians like myself and others across [insert constituency] to get back on their feet and start earning again during these difficult times.