UK Music has asked the chancellor to boost growth in the music industry with his budget today (March 11).
Ahead of Rishi Sunak addressing the House Of Commons, the body's acting CEO Tom Kiehl has laid out a four-point plan to aid the sector, which contributes £5.2 billion a year to the UK economy.
The initiatives laid out in a letter to the chancellor cover fiscal incentives, international trade support, shared parental leave and rehearsal rooms.
“The UK music industry believes a focused fiscal incentive could pump-prime the capital market for music investment, thereby invigorating the digital opportunity for UK music creators and putting them on a more even footing with their international competitors," said Keihl of the incentives he would like to see.
"Such an incentive would also enable labels and publishers to take on further risk in backing additional investment in a broader range of innovative talent, expanding the base of original content that we have to export, and establishing the UK as the world’s highest quality and most favourable music production ecosystem."
On rehearsal rooms, he urged the Government to expand and enhance the opportunities these spaces offer to young people, while on international trade, he urged the renewal and extension of the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) to help UK artists grow their audiences abroad.
Addressing shared parental leave, which UK Music wants extended to self-employed parents, Kiehl declared: “The current inflexible system is holding back equality in the music industry, where 72% of all workers are self-employed. At present, there is no shared parental leave and pay system in place for self-employed parents. The current system of Maternity Allowance for the self-employed places the entire burden of childcare onto the mother and offers no financial support for self-employed fathers or same sex partners wanting to share some or all of the childcare.”
Considering the continuing impact on Covid-19 on the biz globally, Keihl also urged the government to “continued regular communication with the sector in this fast moving situation, as well as consideration of financial support to ensure festivals, concerts and music businesses can get through potentially challenging months.”
By Paul Stokes