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MU expresses lukewarm welcome for financial assistance for the self-employed



With England in a national lockdown from this Thursday, 5 November, until at least 2 December, the Musicians' Union has expressed its concerns at the level of support for the self-employed announced by the Government today.

The UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be extended with self-employed people receiving 80 per cent of their average trading profits for November. As SEISS is calculated over three months, the total grant will increase from 40% to 55% of trading profits for November to January and the maximum grant will increase to £5,160.

Horace Trubridge, MU General Secretary, says:

"We appreciate all the Government has done to support our members through the furlough and self-employment income support schemes so far, but they must not abandon our world-class musicians who are the driving force behind the multi-billion pound UK music industry. This latest announcement clearly does not achieve parity with employed people on furlough, and we will lobby the Treasury on that point as well as continue to argue that the many musicians who have been ineligible for this scheme must now be included.

"We know from our research, that a third of musicians are considering abandoning the industry completely, due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Half of our members have already been forced to seek work outside of the industry, with seven in ten unable to undertake more than a quarter of their usual work.

"Once again, we strongly urge the Government to recognise the unique situation that our members are in, and to provide sector specific financial support for musicians."

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