Stephen Fry, Sir Philip Pullman, Sandie Shaw, Joanne Harris and Bob and Roberta Smith amongst names backing the call for government to protect income for freelancers in light of Covid-19
“In this confused and anxious time, those artists, writers, musicians and others who earn a fragile livelihood as self-employed suppliers of delight and consolation should not be forgotten… The need to support our freelance artists of every kind is urgent and imperative” – Sir Philip Pullman
Celebrities and industry bodies have rallied together to back the Creative Industries Federation and IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed)’s call on the Prime Minister for a Temporary Income Protection Fund to support the self-employed during the Coronavirus crisis.
Since launching yesterday, the letter has already received the support of signatories such as Stephen Fry and Philip Pullman CBE, alongside over 40 industry bodies representing the millions of workers from across the UK’s creative sector. Other supporters include musicians Sandy Shaw and David Rowntree (Blur), author Joanne Harris (Chocolat), DJ High Contrast, actress Ellie Kendrick (Game of Thrones, The Diary of Anne Frank), director Gurinder Chadha OBE (Bend it Like Beckham), artist Bob and Roberta Smith, television producer Nicola Schindler, Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE, and writers Lisa McGee (Derry Girls), Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless), Jeremy Dyson (League of Gentleman), Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Her Naked Skin), Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars), Tony Marchant (Garrow’s Law) and Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). A petition has been launched to support the fund.
To support the self-employed through the coming months, the organisations are calling on the Prime Minister for an emergency fund that gives a time-limited and carefully targeted cash grant to the self-employed businesses and freelancers that need it most. They cite the example of other countries such as Norway, which has said it will pay self-employed people 80 per cent of their income.
The organisations have warned that because Coronavirus is not only a health crisis but an income crisis – especially for the self-employed – the government’s measures will not be enough for freelancers. A Creative Industries Federation survey this week found that 60 per cent of freelancers estimate that their income will decrease by over 50 per cent in 2020, and a snap poll on Twitter showed almost 50 per cent of freelancers have already had 100 per cent of their work cancelled this week.
The letter and a full list of signatories can be found here.