Self-employed workers in the creative sector will be “hit hard” by the coronavirus outbreak unless steps are taken to guarantee their income, according to the boss of a trade body for the industry.
Caroline Norbury, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), said that “a third of the UK’s creative workforce is self-employed”.
She added: “The measures announced on mortgage payments and alleviating hardship are welcome but fall short of guaranteeing these workers’ income – a Government measure that is now desperately needed.”
Measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak include a three-month mortgage holiday for homeowners who are suffering difficulties due to the outbreak, meaning they will not have to pay anything “while they get back on their feet”.
Ms Norbury said that the broader “positive measures” announced by Mr Sunak, which include Govnerment-backed loans worth £330 billion to help businesses, are “welcome”.
She added: “It is now vital that government ensures these business support measures are available as a matter of urgency, and that they are made truly accessible to creative and cultural organisations.”
A CIF survey, which has received more than 2,000 responses, found that 54% of organisations in the creative industries expect their income to decrease by more than 50% because of the pandemic, with many already experiencing immediate losses.
Ms Norbury added that the creative industries are “one of the UK’s leading success stories”.
She added: “They are vital, not only for our economy, but for our way of life, bringing communities together and joy to millions around the globe.
“It is vital that our creative businesses are able to survive.”