close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
March 22, 2020

Freelance musicians fear for future amid uncertainty

World

AFP
March 22, 2020

LONDON: UK freelance musicians, among the vulnerable self-employed groups during the coronavirus crisis, fear they have been "thrown under a bus" by the government after being excluded from a state wage guarantee.

They are among the many freelancers who are not covered by the UK government’s coronavirus economic proposals, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Friday.

To add to their concerns, many of them will be renters not helped by a potential three-month mortgage holiday for homeowners either, also announced by the government.

"We’re bitterly disappointed to be honest with you," Horace Trubridge, Secretary General of the Musicians’ Union, told AFP.

"I think the government’s thrown self-employed workers under a bus.

"I don’t understand how they could offer on the one hand such a generous settlement for salaried workers and yet expect self-employed people to live on about a tenth of that.

Under the government’s plans, salaried employees can claim up to 80 percent of wages, up to a limit of £2,500 ($2,900) during the current pandemic.

However, the scheme has not been applied, so far, to the self-employed. The move has caused alarm, not only among freelancers, but also some MPs.

Former Conservative Minister Steve Barclay said it was "absolutely necessary" to give support to the self-employed.

"Without it, the entire British economy will suffer a crisis -- almost a fatal crisis in economic terms," he told the BBC.

The general secretary of the TUC union, Frances O’Grady, assured that her organisation would "exert a lot of pressure" on this issue.

"We have members from both the construction and creative industries and this will be a real test for them," she told the BBC.