Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens has today written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for action to help PAYE freelancers who are unable to access any support through the Government’s financial assistance schemes.
This is a particular problem for staff at the BBC who cannot be furloughed because the BBC does not qualify for the Job Retention Scheme as a public sector organisation. According to a BECTU survey, only 50% of creative industries workers have been able to access support through a Government income support scheme.
Despite direct calls last month from Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds and Jo Stevens, to look to address the gaps in the support schemes, no steps have been taken, leaving many workers in crisis and a very real risk of an exodus of skills in this vital, growing sector of the UK economy.
Jo Stevens said “Creative industries have become a vital, successful part of the UK economy – outgrowing the UK economy on the whole and contributing £13 million every hour.
“But many in the creative industries have been left to go through this crisis without support and their concerns and proposed solutions to the Government have so far been ignored.
“The Chancellor needs to listen to these pleas. We know that many talented people are now considering their futures in the sector. If we lose these skills, it will prevent this critical sector from surviving and playing its part in our recovery once the virus is beaten for good.”