It is clear that financial support for certain industries will be needed for longer than any of us would have hoped back in March. In his statement last week, the Chancellor said nothing about sectors that cannot re-open including events, weddings, nightclubs and the creative industries which employ hundreds of thousands of workers across the country, either on the payroll or through self-employment. I am astonished that the Chancellor would dismiss these sectors as ‘unviable’ and has effectively washed his hands of them. In the West Midlands alone, we have 660 nightclubs which are still in lockdown so will not be able to access the new Job Support Scheme as they aren’t considered viable jobs, how is this fair?
Jobs in the music and events industry are not ‘unviable’ in the long-term and our country will be so much poorer if we don’t have them. We all look forward to a day when life can seem somewhat more normal and things like wedding parties and live music can start again. Without intervention now, we risk losing entire industries and thousands of jobs will be consigned to the scrap heap.
Labour will be pushing the government to set out what it will do for those who cannot get back to work because of the on-going restrictions on our lives. All along Labour have argued that support should be targeted to the industries that need it the most and that is needed now more than ever.
I have recently written about support for arts and culture in my weekly Birmingham Mail column, you can read these here: