The British Musicians’ Union has published the results of a survey of its members about the impact of Covid-19, and it makes for difficult reading. 19% fear they will have to abandon their career as a result of the pandemic’s financial impact, while 38% say they are not eligible for the British government’s financial assistance schemes. 26% say they will struggle to make ends meet while they wait for hardship payments to come through, meanwhile.
The MU has identified four gaps in the government’s support packages: for people who are part self-employed (less than 50% of their total annual income); people who have been self-employed for less than a year; people who operate as a limited company; and people with annual profits of more than £50k. It is lobbying the government to address these issues, including for musicians.
“From providing us with the joy of live music, to teaching our children, musicians play a huge part in our everyday lives and to wipe out a fifth of that will have unimaginable consequences. We’ve seen other countries recognise this and, importantly, act,” said general secretary Horace Trubridge, who praised Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland on this front.