14:00 8th July 2020
Statement from Viva La PD, the voice of the UK’s freelance TV producers and directors, on the Chancellor’s economic update:
“For the self-employed and PAYE freelancers working in TV production, most of whom are excluded from Government support schemes, lockdown has become a nightmarish financial and mental health endurance test. We hoped for real help today but instead, the excluded became the permanently forgotten, getting nothing more from the Chancellor than a meal deal in August.
“We’ve been repeatedly told by Mr Sunak that our pockets are deep enough to look after ourselves. But most freelancers in our sector fall just the wrong side of the arbitrary £50,000 income cap for the self-employed income support scheme - way below the £200,000 he is fond of telling us the ‘average’ freelancer earns. Some are struggling to put food on the table now.
“As we’ve explained again and again to Government, we don't have huge reserves to cover our living costs while there's no work - a point it seems has fallen on deaf ears. As hard-working taxpayers, it’s extremely difficult to have found ourselves edited out of the Government’s support schemes and left on the cutting room floor. But we will keep fighting.”
Viva La PD Spokesperson / Co-Administrator
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Viva La PD is an independent peer-to-peer community group for Television Producer / Directors, with over 1250 members.
In April, Viva La PD published a report “Freelancers: Fighting For Survival” based on a survey of almost 1000 TV professionals, to produce an up-to-date assessment of Covid-19's impact on the freelance television workforce. It found that fewer than 1 in 5 freelancers were working during lockdown.
In June, Viva La PD published key findings from a follow-up survey of nearly 2000 freelance professionals in the TV industry “TV Freelancers: Six Lost Months”. The survey found over half of TV freelancers are ineligible to government support schemes, and face losing half a year of income.
James Taylor, Viva La PD Co-Administrator / spokesperson is available for contact.