The furlough extension and the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme are the only pieces of good news in what was a largely disappointing budget for workers in the creative industries.
Responding to the Chancellor’s failure to address the gaps in SEISS, Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said:
“The Chancellor’s promise to do “whatever it takes” to support people and businesses rings hollow for the many thousands of freelancers in the creative industries who are yet to receive a penny from SEISS.
“The inclusion of 2019/20 newly self-employed will be a relief for some, but the government has grossly exaggerated the difference it will make.
“The changes do nothing to address the £50k cliff edge, fails to address the cut-off dates for accessing the schemes and in a final insult – the scheme will be winding up two months before the end of the furlough scheme.”
Responding to the extension of the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, Philippa Childs said:
“The Film and TV Production Restart Scheme is government intervention at its best and its extension will be welcomed across the industry.
“The scheme has kept thousands of people in work and allowed Bectu members working in the industry to create much-needed entertainment at a time when the country has needed it the most.
“Theatres and live events require the same support but have yet again been left out in the cold. The arts industry risks losing millions if they are hit with closures or delays this summer, which is exactly what happened in December.
“It’s not too late to announce a scheme, but the Chancellor needs to act fast or he risks an avoidable delay to the planned reopening of the arts this summer.”