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Some 22 MPs from across the political divide have joined forces to call on the prime minister and Government to take steps, including extending VAT relief on ticket revenue and providing live event insurance, to help the UK’s live music industry recover from the pandemic.

The MPs have signed a Commons Early Day Motion outlining the vital support needed by the music industry, which contributed £5.8bn a year to the economy pre-Covid-19.

As well as emphasising that many freelancers and self-employed workers, who make up around three-quarters of the 200,000 in the music industry, have been without work since March 2020, they said around 70% of musicians had lost more than three-quarters of their work due to Covid-19 restrictions.

In their Early Day Motion, MPs are calling on Boris Johnson to:

  • Establish a Government-backed insurance scheme to pave the way for live music events to proceed
  • Extend existing Government support to match the extension of Covid-19 restrictions
  • Ensure parity across UK nations and regions regarding extension of the 100% business rate relief
  • Continue the VAT freeze at 5% for cultural tickets beyond September
  • Give additional support to freelancers

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin welcomed the support for the UK music industry from MPs across the political spectrum: “We are determined to play our part in helping drive the post-pandemic recovery and want to see live music events back as soon as possible.

“With the right support from the Government, the music industry can get back on its feet and deliver a summer of live music and create thousands of jobs.”

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music Chair David Warburton MP said he was acutely aware of how challenging the pandemic has been for musicians and the broader music industry – and the fact the situation has been made worse by the delay to the Covid reopening roadmap.

“I’m delighted that the Government has extended the ban on commercial evictions and supported many music venues, but more support is urgently needed to match the extension of restrictions,” he said. “Our excellent music industry is national asset and it needs our support, now more than ever.”

The Motion is signed by representatives from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, The Green Party, Scottish Nationalist Party, Democrat Unionist Party and the Social Democratic and Labour Party.

Among those who have backed the Motion are Conservative MP David Warburton and former shadow culture minister & DCMS Select Committee member Kevin Brennan.

Others signatories include: Liberal Democrat DCMS spokesperson Jamie Stone, Green Party former leader & co-leader Caroline Lucas, former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman and SNP Treasury spokesperson Alison Thewliss.

Early Day Motions are submitted for debate in the House of Commons, but without any fixed date. They highlight areas of concerns to MPs and their constituents.