‘Freelancers let down again’

Freelancers working in the arts have been let down kin the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s £30bn Plan for Jobs announced today, says Bectu’s general secretary Philippa Childs.

“There were millions of forgotten freelancers and others across the country hanging on the Chancellor’s every word today” said the head of the theatre workers’ union “but once again the government has let them down and failed to recognise the plight of those who have fallen through the gaps.

“The government have announced a welcome £1.5bn to support creative institutions, but there needs to be extra support to help freelancers who are the backbone of the creative industries.”

According to the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), freelancers represent 47% of creative workers - possibly as many as 5m - compared with 15% across the workforce as a whole. It had been hoped that along with the £1.57bn package announced earlier this week there would be an extension of the furlough scheme beyond October, but no extension was announced today. It is feared that without further help vital workers would leave the creative sector,

“If they do not then the future of the £100bn sector is at risk as highly skilled freelance and self-employed workers are forced to seek work elsewhere” Childs said. “Creative workers need action from the government and they need it now.”

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