The Federation responds to COVID-19 business support measures in the Chancellor's statement

March 20, 2020

Responding to the business support measures announced by the Chancellor tonight, Caroline Norbury, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation, said:

"We welcome the news that government is standing by British businesses in this historic announcement but they have failed to stand by freelancers and self employed workers - causing worry and division at this difficult time.

The Chancellor’s announcement tonight that the government will pay wages up to 80% for businesses will be very much welcomed by the UK’s creative businesses, many of whom have had to shut their doors overnight. However, this creates a worrying inequity between those who now have their income secured and the UK’s 5 million self-employed workers and freelancers who are left despondent.

A third of the creative workforce is freelance. Our snap poll on Twitter this week showed that over 50 per cent of these freelancers have already had 100 per cent of their work cancelled due to Covid-19. The £94.25 per week offered in Universal Credit does not come anywhere near to compensating them for their income loss, nor is it close to the amount they can reasonably be expected to live off.

We stand by all of the creative industries and, at this challenging time, it’s vital the government stands by our self-employed and freelancers, and mirrors the strong measures put in place for the UK’s employed workforce."

To support our call for a Temporary Income Protection Fund for freelancers and self-employed workers, sign the petition here.

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