March 22, 2020

The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
HM Treasury 
1 Horse Guards Road

Dear Chancellor,

We are writing as a collective group of organisations to ask that you stand by our highly valuable self-employed workforce, and urgently consider our proposal to help make this a reality.

Your package of support for employers and employees was unprecedented and welcome. However, it creates a worrying inequity between those who now have their income secured and the UK’s five million self-employed workers who are left despondent.

A third of the UK’s creative workforce are self-employed - higher than the national average of 15%. Our recent survey revealed that 60% of creative freelancers predict their income will more than halve in 2020, and over 50% of freelancers who responded to our snap poll have already had 100% of their work cancelled.

We have been working with IPSE - the representative body for the UK’s self-employed community - and over 40 trade and membership bodies and unions from across the creative industries to develop a solution, and would welcome the opportunity to constructively discuss this proposal, and other practical ideas, with you and your team as soon as possible. 

We propose that the government creates a Temporary Income Protection Fund of £15bn to provide all self-employed workers with a monthly income matching their average existing earnings over the past three years, capped at average UK earnings after the basic rate of income tax and with a minimum monthly income of the Real Living Wage. There is now precedent for this across Europe.

Our self-employed workforce are a source of incredible creativity, agility, and innovation. It is vital that they receive support equal to employees and collectively explore, given this difficult time, how such talent could be employed and redeployed to help the national effort.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Norbury

Chief Executive
Creative Industries Federation and Creative England


Support from individuals

Riz Ahmed, Actor

Imran Amed, The Business of Fashion

Sophie Bew, Editor, AnOther Magazine

Tim Blanks, The Business of Fashion

Zowie Broach, Head of Fashion Royal College

Danny Brocklehurst, Screenwriter

Simon Callow, Actor

Gurinder Chadha OBE, Director

Jeremy Dyson, Author

Susannah Frankel, Editor-in-Chief, AnOther

Stephen Fry

Alex Fury, Editor, AnOther

Andrea Gibb, Screenwriter

Katie Grand, LOVE Magazine 

Tony Grounds, Playwright

Andy Harries, Chief Executive, LeftBank Pictures

Joanne Harris, Chair of the Society of Authors Management Committee

Imogen Heap, Recording artist, composer, Founder Mycelia for Music and MI.MU

Olivia Hetreed, Screenwriter

Chris Hibnall, Screenwriter

High Contrast, DJ

Angela Hill and David Owen, IDEA Books

Charles Jeffrey, Designer

Ellie Kendrick, Actress

Lucy Kirkwood, Playwright

Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director, Young Vic

Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Playwright

Tony Marchant, Playwright

Penny Martin, Editor, Gentlewoman

Lisa McGee, Screenwriter

Siobhan McSweeney, Actress

Ashley Pharoah, Screenwriter

Sir Philip Pullman, President of the Society of Authors

David Rowntree, Blur & Featured Artists Coalition Artist in Residence

Caroline Rush, CEO, BFC

Sandie Shaw MBE, Honorary President, Featured Artists Coalition

Nicola Shindler, Executive Producer, RED Production Company, CEO, StudioCanalUK

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries

Bob and Roberta Smith, Artist 

Jack Thorne, Screenwriter

Jodie Whittaker, Actress

Support from Sector Bodies

Animation UK

Arts Council Wales

Association of British Orchestras

Association of British Theatre Technicians

Association of Independent Music 

Association of Photographers




Bristol Media

British Arts Festival Association

British Association of Picture Libraries & Agencies

British Association of Screen Entertainment

British Beauty Council

British Fashion Council 

British Fashion Models Agents Association

British Institute of Interior Design

Crafts Council

Creative & Cultural Skills

Creative United

Culture Counts

The Cultural Capital Exchange


Design Council

Digital Entertainment Group International

Directors UK 


Fashion Roundtable

Featured Artists Coalition

Federation of Scottish Theatre

Film + TV Charity

Freelancers Club

Guild HE

Guild of Media Arts 

Heritage Alliance

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing

Independent Cinema Office

Independent Publishers Guild


Music Education Council

Music Managers Forum

Music Producers Guild

Music Publishers Association

Musicians’ Union

National Rural Touring Forum

OneDance UK


Professional Publishers Association

Publishers Association

Publishing Scotland

Rise - Women in Broadcast

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Contemporary Art Network


Society of Authors

Society of British Theatre Designers

SOLT/UK Theatre 


Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates

UK Music

UK Screen Alliance


Wales Arts International

Welsh Independent Producers - TAC

York UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts


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