Creative Industries Federation responds to Conservative Party manifesto

November 25, 2019

Caroline Julian, Director of Policy and Programmes:
“It is right that, in different ways, the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos have all explicitly recognised the world-leading strengths of the UK's creative industries. The sector makes a major impact on our economy as a whole, contributing more than £100bn GVA and employing more than 2 million people, as well as an immeasurable difference to our communities, our reputation internationally, and the quality of life of every person living in the UK. 

The Conservative Party Manifesto features some welcome proposals that are in line with our Creative Industries Manifesto, including the introduction of business rates relief for music venues and cinemas and commitment to maintain support for creative sector tax reliefs.

The inclusion of an Arts Premium for secondary schools to ensure all young people have the opportunity to learn creative skills and broaden their experiences is vital and welcome. However, for this to have the best possible impact we urge that it must be accompanied by putting creative subjects back at the heart of the curriculum.

More than one third of people working in the creative industries are freelancers, and so we welcome the proposal to launch a review to assess how government can better support the self-employed. It is critical that international freelancers - a crucial part of our sector's world-leading workforce - are at the heart of any reforms to the UK's future immigration system.

95% organisations in the creative industries are micro businesses (with nine employees or fewer), and so enabling small businesses to thrive and grow is crucial to the success of the sector. The Conservative manifesto features a number of important measures to support small businesses, including investment in skills and training. In addition to this, greater focus is needed to address the distinctive barriers faced by many creative businesses trying to access finance and seek the tailored support that they need to succeed.” 

The Creative Industries Federation’s response to the Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos can be found here. The Federation will be sharing a more detailed analysis of the General Election manifestos, and what they mean for the creative industries, with members later this week.

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