Photo details members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement on scaling back the Government’s contribution to furlough payments, and extending the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians said:

“The Job Retention Scheme has provided much-needed support for the music sector, but scaling back the Government’s furlough contributions risks the long-term health of a sector that contributes so much to the UK’s economy and global reputation.

“With social gathering restrictions set to stay in place for the foreseeable future, there will be no immediate return to business as usual for large parts of the music sector, especially the thousands of music venues that require near full capacity crowds to turn a small profit.  

“Many businesses will simply not be able to afford employer contributions, risking bankruptcy and redundancies. The ISM is calling on the Chancellor to urgently reconsider his decision and extend the furlough scheme in full, and begin a national conversation about a long-term financial support package for the music sector”.

On the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

“The extension of the SEISS is fantastic news for the many thousands of music professionals who depend on this vital lifeline, and the ISM is delighted that the Government has listened to organisations like the ISM, which has campaigned for an extension on behalf of our members, many of whom are self-employed.

“But it is vital that the Government also expands the scheme, to cover all those who have slipped through the cracks and have so far been unable to claim financial support from the Government. The ISM has made a series of recommendations for how the Support Scheme can be expanded, and we are calling on the Government to seriously consider these proposals”.