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Performing Arts: Coronavirus

Question for Treasury

UIN 130705, tabled on 16 December 2020

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on eligibility for financial support of people who found new work on or after 31 October 2020 as a result of the planned resumption of live performances in December and January and have since been affected by the introduction of new covid-19 restrictions announced on 14 December 2020.

Answered on

11 January 2021

The Government recognises the extreme disruption the necessary actions to combat Covid-19 are having on the live events industry.

The Government has put in place an economic package of support which will provide businesses and individuals with certainty over the winter months, even as measures to prevent further spread of the virus change. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Self Employed Income Support Scheme and government-backed loan schemes.

An employer can claim CJRS for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. This means that the former cut-off date for CJRS (which was 19 March) no longer applies for claim periods from 1 November, and will now include all new employees that have been hired since, so long as their employer have notified payment to HMRC about the employee (via a Real Time Information claim) between 20 March and 30 October.

However, eligible businesses organizing liver performances may benefit from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. To date, more than £790m of grants and loans have been allocated to over 3,000 cultural organisations in England. Organisations supported include theatres, performing arts, galleries, museums, orchestras, music venues, comedy clubs and festivals. This funding will help to enable performances to restart, protect jobs and create opportunities for freelancers.

The government has also provided funding to local authorities, to support both open and closed businesses through the Local Restrictions Support Grants and the Additional Restrictions Grant.

Treasury Ministers and officials are working intensively with departments like the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in order to understand the impact that Covid-19 is having on workers and sectors.

We will continue to take a flexible approach and keep all impacts and policies under review as we respond to this pandemic.

Answered by

Treasury
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