WGGB has responded to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in the House of Commons today (17 November 2022).
General Secretary Ellie Peers said:
“The UK’s creative industries contribute over £100 billion to our economy, they fuel international exports and have a global following. They enrich lives and provide a power-house of employment for highly skilled creative freelancers, our members amongst them.
“So it was puzzling, if not surprising, to find the creative industries completely omitted from the Chancellor’s statement to the House today, from a Government that has already threatened the future of two of our public service broadcasters and higher education arts spending.
“Buried in a small paragraph at the bottom of the Autumn Statement is a reference to consulting on reforming the audio-visual creative reliefs. We look forward to hearing more detail on this and will respond to the formal consultation in due course.
“Also concerning was the OBR’s predictions that real household income will fall per person by over 7% in the next two years. As our recent survey of writers showed, 55% of respondents said that rising energy and food costs were impacting on their ability to sustain a writing career, severely affecting livelihoods. And the freezing of personal tax allowances announced today and the reduction in the Energy Price Guarantee from next April will inevitably erode this further.
“A plan to stabilise the economy, reduce inflation and promote growth is laudable following the disastrous ‘mini-budget’, yet in the Government’s rush to turn the UK into the ‘next Silicon Valley’ by supporting ‘growth-enhancing’ industries such as science, technology and the financial sector, it is willfully overlooking the economic contribution and value of our world-leading creative industries and all workers who power them.
“WGGB will continue our campaigning and lobbying work on behalf of our members, and alongside our sister unions and partner organisations. And we press ahead in our negotiations with employers to protect the pay and conditions of our members in these difficult times.”
Sources of support for writers
The Film and TV Charity has a Support Line which is open 24/7. Call on 0800 054 00 00 or use their chat on http://filmtvcharity.org.uk
The Theatre Helpline (0800 915 4617) is a free and confidential service for anyone working in theatre and the performing arts in the UK.
You can find mental health support resources here