On the Labour and Liberal Democrats’ manifestos, Caroline Julian, Director of Policy and Programmes, said that the Federation was “pleased” that both manifestos “clearly acknowledge the crucial role of the creative industries in the UK’s cultural life, social transformation and economic success”.
She said that they both included “a welcome focus on working with sectors like ours to spread opportunities to all people and communities across the UK, respond to the climate emergency and ensure sustainable growth across the economy”.
Further, Ms Julian said: “Commitments to support small businesses, self-employed workers and creators through increased investment and lending, improved business support and by ensuring fair and timely pay are crucial”.
In particular, the Federation welcomes, “the important commitments from both parties to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience arts and culture and undertake creative subjects”. However, Ms Julian noted that, despite its proposals for an Arts Pupil Premium in primary schools, “Labour fall short of committing to put creative subjects at the heart of the secondary curriculum”. In addition, the Labour manifesto “lacks detail on the shape of the UK’s future immigration system”.
On the Conservative manifesto, Ms Julian said that it “features some welcome proposals that are in line with our Creative Industries Manifesto, including the introduction of business rates relief for music venues and cinemas and commitment to maintain support for creative sector tax reliefs”.
Ms Julian described as “vital” and “welcome” the inclusion of an Arts Premium for secondary schools to ensure all young people have the opportunity to learn creative skills and broaden their experiences. However, she said, for this to have the best possible impact “we urge that it must be accompanied by putting creative subjects back at the heart of the curriculum”.
Given that more than one third of people working in the creative industries are freelancers, the Federation welcomes the proposal to launch a review to assess how government can better support the self-employed. Ms Julian said that it was “critical that international freelancers – a crucial part of our sector’s world-leading workforce – are at the heart of any reforms to the UK’s future immigration system”.
In addition, Ms Julian said that the manifesto featured “a number of important measures to support small businesses, including investment in skills and training”. However, “greater focus is needed to address the distinctive barriers faced by many creative businesses trying to access finance and seek the tailored support that they need to succeed”. To read the Federation’s comments in full, click here and here.