Last week the Chancellor delivered his 2020 Spending Review to parliament, and again failed to deliver for those who have fallen through the gaps in pre-existing government support.
In his introduction to the Commons, Rishi Sunak painted a bleak picture of the economic challenges ahead, before setting out his spending plans. However, he has once again failed to recognise that these challenges will be exacerbated for those millions of self-employed who have been left without government support ever since the pandemic began. When quizzed on additional support for those excluded, the Chancellor disputed the number of those in need. We know that large swathes of our membership, and workers in the wider creative industries, can be counted among these forgotten self-employed – and their continued exclusion from suitable financial support is inexcusable.
Furthermore, the creative industries will be key to any future economic recovery and will play a significant role in the emotional wellbeing of the country. To ignore the economic plight faced by so much of the industry’s workforce is both short sighted and wrong.
We released a statement in response, which you can view here, and this weekend we joined with unions, business groups and campaigners to write to the Chancellor, urging him to take action and fix these long-standing gaps.
The letter highlights the fact that the “the continued omission of these workers is causing immeasurable hardship and huge mental health consequences for those impacted and their families.
“These [excluded] workers are facing a miserable Christmas period, and the evidence is mounting that many may turn away from self-employment and freelance work in the future. This is a tragedy for these individuals, their families and their businesses, but it is also a disaster for the economy and for the prospects of economic recovery in sectors that rely on an innovative and flexible freelance and self-employed workforce, such as the creative industries.”