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What do musicians want from the new parliament?

Laura  Barnes
What do musicians want from the new parliament?

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has released its manifesto for musicians ahead of June’s general election.

Within its manifesto, the professional body asks: “what do musicians want from the new parliament?” It calls for freedom of movement for creatives, the reform or scrapping of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) and support for tackling the stigma surrounding mental health.

“Our music profession – and creative artists across the UK – generate billions in income for the UK Exchequer and (as demonstrated by horn player Anneke Scott), musicians perform in many EU countries,” said Deborah Annetts, chief executive of ISM.

“Their livelihood needs protecting after Brexit with a cultural pass if we are to avoid destroying our creative economy. But Brexit will also mean an urgent need to invest in the knowledge and skills the future workforce will need. We must protect the pipeline of talent underpinning the success of our creative industries and its £87.4 billion contribution to the UK economy.
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“We hope that whichever Party forms the new Government, it will listen to what our profession needs to flourish and thrive and continue to be the best in the world.”

Read the full manifesto below:

Incorporated Society of Musicians: A manifesto for musicians – 2017

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK’s fastest growing professional body for musicians, set up in 1882 to promote the art of music and to protect the interests of all musicians.

What do musicians want from the new Parliament?

Leaving the EU

The music industry is hugely important to the UK. We need to:
– Ensure freedom of movement for musicians and creative professionals across all 27 states with a cultural exemption from visa and tax rules for artists, directors, performers, composers and authors to continue to travel within the EU.

Skills and education

Brexit means we need to invest in skills and education. Our world class music education and pipeline of talent that underpins the success of our creative industries and its £87.4 billion contribution to the UK economy needs protecting with:
– A pledge to scrap or reform the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which excludes music from key school league tables.
– Support for higher education institutions to promote the creative, cultural and economic benefits of studying for a music degree.
– A commitment to ongoing £75 million ring-fenced support for music education hubs to ensure access for all.

Health and wellbeing

More than 60% of musicians suffer from mental health issues at some point, and three in four experience performance anxiety, but do not talk about it. The Government can help tackle this by:
– Supporting institutions working to tackle the stigma around discussing mental health

Industrial strategy and micro-businesses

90% of the music profession are self-employed and need a tax regime that supports their wealth creating microbusinesses:
– Supporting small businesses and professional musicians by raising the quarterly reporting threshold for tax (under Make Tax Digital) to £83,000 in line with the VAT threshold and work with us to help musicians understand the implications.
– Defend the intellectual property rights of our creatives which underpin so much of our economy.

Live Music protection

Live music contributes £662 million a year to the UK economy. It is estimated that over the past ten years, 40 per cent of London’s music venues have closed, reflecting similar patterns around the UK. The Government must:
– Support and strengthen the Live Music Act.

Tags: ism , general election , manifesto for musicians

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