Music industry speak out before Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils new economic support measures today

Music industry figures have also called on the Chancellor to support the struggling sector in his statement to the commons.

Rishi Sunak is set to outline measures today to protect millions of jobs as the furlough work scheme nears its end.

The Chancellor will reportedly unveil his “Winter Economy Plan” in the Commons later today, which could include VAT cuts, wage subsidies and significant loans for businesses have been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

With the furlough scheme set to finish at the end of October, the Treasury said the chancellor had been “preparing contingency plans over the summer in case the pandemic required it”.

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While the specific details of Mr Sunak’s plans are yet to be revealed, the BBC reports that he could unveil a salary top-up scheme, similar to initiatives that are already operating in France and Germany.

It is also thought that firms could be allowed to reduce employees’ hours while keeping them in a job – with the government footing the rest of their wages.

Sunak also announced yesterday that the Autumn Budget will be scrapped due to the pandemic.

Leading music industry figures have called on the Chancellor to include support for the struggling sector in his statement.

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Jay Taylor, a promoter for Manchester’s Night & Day venue, wrote on Twitter: “I’ve spent 6 months talking to North West music venues for @musicvenuetrust, over a hundred of them, and to a venue they’ve been creative, flexible and extraordinarily resilient – but there are limits.

“That’s why it’s imperative that @RishiSunak’s statement today supports our industry. 210,000 people rely on it for employment and without support those jobs are done for.”

The Featured Artists Coalition added: “It’s crucial that @RishiSunak’s statement tomorrow supports live music. 210,000 people rely on clubs, gigs & festivals for employment, but we’ll be one of the last sectors to open. The UK’s live music industry is world-beating. Without support, it won’t survive.”

It comes amid fears that a third of musicians could leave the industry due to financial losses brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The research comes from the Musicians’ Union, who are calling on the UK government to provide greater assistance to those affected within the industry.

The new research states that over a third of musicians are considering abandoning the industry due to losses made during the pandemic, while nearly half of its members already being forced to seek alternative work, and 70% currently doing less than a quarter of their regular work.

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