Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked on: 28 April 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Arts: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to help (1) artists, and (2) self-employed people working in the creative industries, to recoup costs incurred in the production of projects now cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: Baroness Barran
Answered on: 14 May 2020

We know that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to many of DCMS’ sectors including the arts and creative industries. That is why the Government has announced unprecedented support for businesses and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; £330 billion worth of government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses and a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. Most recently, we have introduced the Coronavirus bounce back loan, to help small and medium-sized businesses, many of which are situated in the creative industries sector, to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months in order to help businesses in their recovery. We continue to work closely with our partners across the creative industries and arts to understand the impact of Covid-19 on their activities and provide the necessary support.

DCMS has also worked closely with Arts Council England to provide a tailored package of financial support to those within the Arts sector. In March, Arts Council England announced a £160m emergency response package to complement the financial measures already announced by the Government and support the resilience of this vital sector. This funding package will support organisations and individuals who need the most support to see them through this crisis. More details can be found on the Arts Council’s website (https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19).

Those artists who own a Theatrical Production Company may be eligible to recoup costs via the Theatre Tax Relief, more details can be found through HMRC guidance (https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/theatre-tax-relief).

Q
Asked on: 28 April 2020
Treasury
Arts: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of self-employed artists to access COVID-19 financial support schemes.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 13 May 2020

The new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will help those with lost trading profits due to COVID-19. The new scheme will allow eligible individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months. This may be extended if needed. Self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, are eligible if they have submitted their Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, continued to trade, and have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19. To qualify, their self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000, with more than half of their income from self-employment. Some 95% of people who are mainly self-employed could benefit from this scheme.

More information about the SEISS, including the eligibility criteria and how to claim, is available on GOV.UK.

The SEISS supplements the other significant support announced for individuals and businesses, including the Government’s relaxation of the earnings rules (known as the Minimum Income Floor) in Universal Credit, the Bounce Back Loans Scheme for small businesses, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available on GOV.UK.

Q
Asked on: 28 April 2020
Treasury
Arts: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to provide quickly accessible grants and loans to (1) artists, and (2) self-employed people working in the creative industries, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 13 May 2020

The government has made a wide variety of economic support available to help businesses and self-employed people across the economy, including artists and self-employed people working in the creative industries. This includes:

- The Self-employment Income Support Scheme which will allow self-employed people to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. This is initially available for 3 months, but may be extended;

- Bounce Back loans of up to £50,000, 100% guaranteed by the Government. These will be interest-free for the first 12 months. Businesses can apply online through a short and simple form;

- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for larger financing requirements;

- The option to defer VAT payments;

- Small Business Grants of £10,000 which will be paid to any property in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief.

Q
Asked on: 28 April 2020
Treasury
Arts: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to extend the (1) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and (2) Self-employment Income Support Scheme, to artists and others in the creative industries who rely on a mixture of self-employed income and zero-hours or fixed-term contracts.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 13 May 2020

It is possible for individuals to benefit from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) if they meet the individual criteria for both. For the CJRS, this will depend on furloughing decisions by the employer. Furloughed employees must have been employed on 19 March 2020 and on their employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020, and can be on any type of employment contract, including: full-time employees, part-time employees, agency, fixed-term, flexible or zero hour contracts.

For the SEISS, it will depend on whether an individual has at least 50% of their total income from trading profits in either 2018/19, or an average of the (up to) three years between 2016/17 and 2018/19. Further details can be found on GOV.UK guidance.

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