COVID-19: Write to your local MP
The time is now for the Government to act and support freelance musicians. We have put together a template letter you can use to write to your local MP.
Name of local MP
Dear [Name of your local MP]
As one of your constituents, I am writing to you to share with you the devastating impact of COVID-19 on my work and life as a musician. I am one of the five million freelance workers in the UK who is facing being financially crippled by this national crisis.
Although a hugely enjoyable profession, to become a musician takes a significant amount of commitment, sacrifice and skills and knowledge built up over many years. Building a freelance portfolio of work large enough to sustain an income to support myself is rewarding but challenging. It is not a 9am-5pm existence, but a way of life.
As you will know, freelancers are not entitled to any notice or redundancy pay. Therefore, I am entirely dependent on one-off engagements such as [insert your engagements]. If I do not work, I do not get paid.
Since the COVID-19 developments intensified, I have lost virtually all my income overnight. I am facing the prospect of not being able to cover basic living costs such as food or rent.
While the measures announced by the Chancellor are welcome, particularly for employed workers, it does not in any way address the challenges I am now facing as a freelance musician. The only option for us seems to be applying through the welfare system for lost income, which falls short in the support the freelance music community needs. We simply cannot afford to live on less than £100 a week.
I urge the Government to take action now. Other countries, such as Italy and Canada, have put in place emergency funds to support freelancers in these uncertain times. The Government must urgently put in place a similar grant or emergency fund to assist freelancers with the loss of earnings.
It is currently unclear how long the COVID-19 crisis will continue to impact the world. Freelance musicians need urgent financial help now.