ISM responds to the 2021 Budget

Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP has published his Budget and the ISM has analysed the announcements to see how they will impact our members. The most important decision was the extension of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), the furlough scheme and the £20 Universal Credit uplift. We were also pleased to see the extension of the reduced VAT rate and further funding for the arts and cultural sectors.

In recent weeks, we have campaigned for the Government to implement these measures by writing to the Chancellor, making a submission to the Treasury as part of the Creators' Rights Alliance and commenting on the new funding for the arts.

We are delighted that the Treasury has listened to the many voices from across the cultural industries that have worked hard over recent months to emphasise the importance of these measures. In particular, the Government has heard our demand that support must reach individual creatives, rather than just recovery funding for institutions.

However, it cannot be forgotten that there remains an estimated three million excluded who have been unable to benefit from Government support throughout this crisis. In the months ahead, we will continue to lobby on their behalf and call for measures to help freelancers, who form the backbone of the creative economy. This issue has been a priority for almost a year now and we will not abandon those musicians in such a desperate situation.

Commenting on the 2021 Budget, ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts said:

‘Today’s Budget hits the right note for many musicians, with the Chancellor announcing more than £300m for the arts alongside the extension of support for those eligible for the self-employed scheme, furlough and the Universal Credit uplift. These are all essential, because thousands of our members have not had any work for a year and are waiting for venues to safely re-open. The Government must invest in the UK’s cultural industries until this crisis is over, including measures to help the estimated three million excluded freelancers.'

More information about SEISS

  • The Self- Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended with a fourth grant worth 80% of average trading profits of up to £7,500, covering the period of February to April.
  • A fifth grant will be made available from July, for a further period of three months. Individuals whose turnover fell by 30% will continue to receive the full 80% grant, and those whose turnover has fallen less will receive a reduced 30% grant.
  • 600,000 more people can claim for the fourth and fifth grants as newly self-employed - provided a tax return was completed by midnight last night.