Little in the Autumn Statement that offers the protection and reassurance creative workers need

22 November 2023

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs responds to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Commenting, Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said:

“The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement serves as yet another missed opportunity to stand behind the UK’s creative sector and its workforce. There is little in this statement that offers the protection and reassurance our members need, following another very difficult year of soaring costs, a continuing skills shortage and long periods of unpredictable employment.

“Whilst we welcome the warm words for our world-leading film and TV sector, there was little in the statement to support the creative industries beyond the call for evidence on increasing tax relief for VFX. At a time when sectors of the industry like opera, theatres, independent film production and live events desperately need strong Government leadership to help them flourish, we need more than promises of further reviews.

“Tangible policies that provide sustainable and long-term support across the creative industries are crucial for the future prosperity and stability of the sector, which contributes so much creatively and economically to the UK.

“Some of our self-employed members may benefit from the abolition of Class 2 National Insurance contributions and the reduction of Class 4 contributions by 1%, but these headline-grabbing promises offer little when considered alongside the bigger picture of an ongoing lack of investment in the sector, and freelance workers who are continually left out in the cold.

“Whilst the Chancellor claims that this is an ‘Autumn statement for growth’, there is next to nothing in this budget that materially supports our world-class creative industries and a largely freelance workforce that is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis and insecure employment. This statement does not provide the vision or tools needed to safeguard the creative sector and its highly skilled jobs.”