Spring Budget supports creative businesses but ignores the workforce

6 March 2024

Responding to the Spring Budget, Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said:

“We welcome a number of promising announcements in today’s Spring Budget, including tax relief on films under £15m, a permanent rate for theatre tax relief and the likely extension of VFX tax breaks.

“However, this budget is one that has met a number of business asks but contains no measures to directly support the freelancers that make these industries so successful. The government must match its investment in creative businesses with urgent and sustained support for a workforce that has long been struggling.

“Bectu members consistently tell us they are now worse off than in 2020, and many continue to feel the effects of insecure employment. A prolonged recruitment and retention crisis in the sector is well-established, and we recently sounded the alarm over a shocking work drought in film and TV. With more than a third saying they will leave the industry in the next 5 years, there is little in this budget that seeks to address this skills drain.

“Despite some promising interventions, you simply cannot have a thriving creative sector without a thriving workforce. Whilst today’s budget recognises the creative industries as a high-growth priority sector for government, it is a missed opportunity to back up this rhetoric with reassurance and the immediate support needed for those who work in them.”