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Parliamentary Recess Doesn’t Mean We’ve Quietened Down, a Lobbying Update

MU Head of Communications & Government Relations Isabelle Gutierrez: “Parliament is currently in recess and so not sitting, but that doesn’t mean that we have quietened down our lobbying efforts.”

Photograph of a busker performing outdoors.
We've launched a survey to gather hard data on just how many musicians are currently falling between the gaps. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Our focus at the moment is on lobbying for members who are currently ineligible for either of the Government’s assistance schemes for employed and self-employed workers, and to that end we launched a survey for members today to gather hard data on just how many musicians are currently falling between the gaps.

We also continue to argue for emergency financial assistance for the period before the remuneration becomes available, either by speeding up the Universal Credit application process to cover the gap until support is made available in June or finding an alternative method of covering the income gap.

Discussions we’ve been having

General Secretary Horace Trubridge took part in a roundtable call with Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Ministers this week in which he argued strongly for measures to help newly self-employed musicians, musicians whose self-employed work is less than 50% of their total, limited companies and those with ‘profits’ of over 50k.

The Union has also been in contact with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Treasury, and will be giving evidence to the DCMS Select Committee inquiry into the effect of COVID 19 on the creative industries.

A call between the MU and the new Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Jo Stevens, has been set up for early next week – although Jo has already been briefed on the MU’s latest lobbying points.

Welcoming the new Labour Party leadership

In welcome other news, Sir Keir Starmer was elected as leader of the Labour Party last weekend. The MU endorsed Sir Keir Starmer back in February, and we are delighted that we will now be able to work closely with him to support musicians at this difficult time.

MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge spoke to Keir on the day of his election and said:

“Keir has always been a strong supporter of MU campaigning, notably on Brexit, and he has also very much stood up for musicians over the past difficult month. He was one of the first MPs to call for proper income support for the self-employed and I have continued to discuss how these measures could be improved with him.

“We are delighted to have such a supporter of musicians as leader of the Labour Party and we look forward to continuing to work with him and his team."

The MU has also welcomed Angela Rayner's election as Deputy Leader. She is strong candidate with a particular knowledge of education issues, and we look forward to working with her to support music education and other issues of importance to musicians and the wider society.

Take Action to Protect Musicians

There are lots of different ways for you to get involved and take action to protect musicians – from emailing your MP, to giving us evidence through one of our surveys and signing the petitions we’re promoting. Find out more.

Published: 09/04/2020

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