Write to your local MP: Reinsurance and tax relief
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: Reinsurance and tax relief
As one of your constituents, I am writing to ask if you will urge the Government to remove the obstacles to venues reopening and help improve the viability of live performance. This includes creating a Government-backed reinsurance scheme and implementing new tax relief measures.
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]
A major barrier to the return of performance, is the failure of the commercial insurance market to offer suitable cancellation policies. We believe that the £500 million Restart Scheme for Film and TV which helped delayed productions obtain insurance has set an important precedent. Promoters and venues would pay into a dedicated fund, to be matched by the Government, in addition to an additional premium paid by the insurance industry.
This would allow my sector to plan for returning to live performance when it is safe to do so at venues and festivals across the UK. Notably, UK Music estimated that a £650 million fund would allow £2 billion worth of activity to go ahead. By comparison the German Federal Government pledged €2.5 billion to insure events for the second half of 2021 while Austria and the Netherlands have both invested around €300 million in similar schemes.
The Incorporated Society of Musicians, of which I am a member, are also proposing the creation of a new tax relief for live music, touring and new compositions. This would follow the regulatory elements of the Theatre Tax Relief. These would cover:
- The production costs of musical performances including commission fees for new music, production costs for a new presentation of existing works, music hire and copyright licences.
- New presentations of existing music and performances of new music and support orchestral concerts.
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.