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DCMS Committee calling for urgent clarification on government support for jobless in entertainment industry amid COVID-19 crisis

2 April 2020

The DCMS Committee is demanding clarification from the Government about its support for people who lose income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis after identifying apparent loopholes that would exclude many workers in the cultural and creative sectors.

Freelancers face being denied much needed financial support offered by the Self-Employment Scheme, the Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme and Universal Credit.

Chair's comments

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said:

“We've heard from a number of professionals and freelancers working in our creative and cultural industries like TV, film or music who face months without income or financial support because they don't qualify for any of the Government's schemes.

“Particularly hard hit are freelancers who are hired on PAYE fixed term contracts and don't qualify for the Self-Employment Scheme. The savings threshold for getting Universal Credit means many are losing out here too.

“Ministers must now look again at what help is being offered to ensure that people in these industries don't end up paying an impossibly high price for the coronavirus crisis through no fault of their own.”

Concerns previously raised

The DCMS Committee has raised its concerns in a letter addressed to Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

The DCMS Committee has published the response from DCMS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden to wider concerns it raised previously about the impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector including charities and volunteers, tourism and sport.

The Committee intends to take evidence for a future inquiry into the impact on COVID-19 on the DCMS sectors with further details to be announced in due course.

Further information

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