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Events Industry: Coronavirus

Question for Treasury

UIN HL12679, tabled on 27 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what further financial support they intend to provide to the events industry, including support for freelancers within that industry.

Answered on

10 February 2021

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

During this difficult time the Treasury is working intensively with employers, delivery partners, industry groups, and other government departments to understand the long-term effects of Covid-19 across all key areas of the economy.

We have already announced considerable and unprecedented support for businesses and individuals.

Businesses forced to close can claim grants of up to £3,000 per month (worth over £1 billion per month) through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed). Any business in England forced to close due to national or local restrictions can claim grants, via their local authority, of up to £3,000 per month, per business premises, depending on rateable value.

In addition, on 5th January, the Government announced an extra £4.6 billion to protect jobs and support affected businesses as restrictions get tougher. Businesses forced to close can claim a one-off grant of up to £9,000. This is in addition to the monthly closed grant amounts above. Local authorities (in England) will also be given an additional £500 million discretionary funding to support their local businesses. This builds on the £1.1 billion discretionary funding (worth £20 per head of population) which local authorities in England have already received to support their local economies and help businesses impacted

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of April. This provides a substantial grant for employers to cover 80% of the wages of their employees. As of 13 December, CJRS has supported 9.9 million jobs at the cost of roughly £46.4bn. In line with the extension to the CJRS, the government recently announced an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) until April 2021. So far SEISS has seen 2.7 million self-employed workers make claims under the scheme totalling £13.7bn. The Government will set out further details, including the level of the fourth grant covering February to April, in due course.

Furthermore, individuals who are furloughed, become unemployed, or anyone who sees a fall in their earnings, may become eligible for support through the welfare system, notably, Universal Credit. We have announced significant temporary extra support worth £7.4bn in 2020-21 for families who rely on the safety net of the welfare system. This includes a £20 per week increase to the 2020-21 UC standard allowance, a suspension of the Minimum Income Floor for self-employed UC claimants, and an increase in UC and Housing Benefit Local Housing Allowance rates so they cover the lowest third of local rents

Eligible events and businesses may have also benefit from business rates relief, a moratorium on commercial tenant evictions and the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund supporting thousands of cultural organisations including theatres, music venues, comedy clubs and festivals.

We will continue to monitor the impact of government support on public services, businesses, individuals and sectors, including the events sector, as we respond to this pandemic. The Budget in March will be an opportunity to take stock of our wider support and set out the next stage of our economic response to the pandemic. But we must recognise that it will not be possible to preserve every job or business indefinitely, nor stand in the way of the economy adapting and people finding new jobs or starting new businesses.

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