The Incorporated Society Of Musicians (ISM) has unveiled its manifesto for musicians ahead of tomorrow's (June 8) General Election.
ISM is the UK’s fastest growing professional body for musicians, set up in 1882 to promote the art of music and to protect the interests of all musicians. In its manifesto, it calls for action across a number of areas to support artists.
With Brexit on the horizon, it wants new Government to ensure freedom of movement for musicians and creative professionals across all 27 remaining EU states with a cultural exemption from visa and tax rules for artists, directors, performers, composers and authors to continue to travel within the EU.
It adds that music's £87.4 billion contribution to the UK economy needs protecting with a pledge to scrap or reform the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which excludes music from key school league tables; support for higher education institutions to promote the creative, cultural and economic benefits of studying for a music degree, and a commitment to ongoing £75 million ring-fenced support for music education hubs.
Quoting statistics that 60% of musicians suffer from mental health issues at some point, and three in four experience performance anxiety but do not talk about it, ISM says the Government can help tackle this by supporting institutions working to tackle the stigma around discussing mental health.
Supporting small businesses and professional musicians by raising the quarterly reporting threshold for tax to £83,000 in line with the VAT threshold, is another aspect of the manifesto, as is defending the intellectual property rights of creatives.
Finally, as live music contributes £662m a year to the UK economy, it is calling for the Government to support and strengthen the Live Music Act.