The announcement that the Chancellor will be providing another £300m for the Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF) is good news but this new round of money must include funding for freelancers, the MU has said.
Unlike in Scotland and Wales, individual freelancers in England have not been able to apply for CRF money, which has left them at a real disadvantage.
38% of MU members still do not qualify for the job retention scheme or SEISS, and being able to apply for grants from the Cultural Recovery Fund would be a lifeline, as we know it has been for some of their colleagues in the other nations.
MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge says:
“We urge the Chancellor to invest in musicians in tomorrow’s Budget announcement by making it clear that individual freelancers in England will finally be allowed to apply for some of this latest round of Cultural Recovery Fund money.
“Whilst we are obviously pleased that venues and theatres will be receiving additional support over the next few difficult months, we find it extremely unfair that a big proportion of the workforce that make these institutions what they are continue to be excluded.
“With 38% of musicians still ineligible for other financial support, the Chancellor must act to protect the future of music in this country.
“Allowing freelancers to apply for project funding from the CRF would be a good start, but we also urge him to look again at the huge numbers that are excluded from the SEISS scheme and make some adjustments.”