The Nightlife Industry Association (NTIA) said the drop statement didn’t go far enough and lacked clarity as commerce and entertainment industry groups reacted to the clerk’s statement.
Jeremy Hunt delivered his autumn statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, in which he said he faced tough decisions to ensure a “minor recession” but the economy was forecast to contract by 1.4% in 2023.
Michael Kill, chief executive of NTIA, the trade body representing UK businesses in the sleeper economy, said: ‘This government is guilty of neglecting thousands of businesses and millions of workers and freelancers in the sleeper economy, this budget has not gone that far should disappear, yet there is not enough clarity, and no doubt a large number of small and medium-sized businesses and independent businesses will disappear in the coming months.
“When companies have to prepare for the busiest time of the year, they need to think about their future now and be aware of the fourth failed attempt to get a budget to protect businesses at the most critical moment of the crisis.
“The human impact is not taken into consideration, it will have a devastating impact not only on entrepreneurs, but also on individuals and families who have dedicated their lives and livelihoods to this industry.”
Meanwhile, Greater Manchester nightlife consultant Sasha Lord warned entertainment venues could close sooner after the autumn announcement than during the pandemic.
He tweeted: “Operators are working to their limits and I fear we will now see massive layoffs, reduced hours and site closures faster than during the pandemic. This is a very sad state of affairs.
“We will now see a decline in consumer spending in the coming weeks and months, as carriers need more support as they recover from the pandemic-related debt crisis.
“Disposable income is at the heart of the UK economy and I am very concerned that the policies outlined today will cause a severe contraction in this sector. Spending on luxuries such as eating out naturally reduces sooner.
Live chief executive John Collins said the chancellor’s fall announcement “helped a little” for the live music industry.
The industry group represents the interests of the industry, bringing together 14 major live music associations and representing over 4,000 artists.
Following the announcement, Collins said: “While we applaud the Government’s commitment to keeping the UK economy stable, there is little help today to secure the future of our £4.5bn industry and the 200,000 people who support it. .
“Unprecedented working conditions are putting our industry on the brink as favorite venues close, tours are canceled and artists leave the industry.
“The hangover from the pandemic coupled with the rising cost of living has led to 54% of people reporting they are less likely to attend live performances, which is putting enormous pressure on the live music industry.
“Today we reiterate our call for the reintroduction of a lower VAT rate on ticket sales to inject money into the bottom line of struggling businesses, bring us up to par with many other European countries and secure a future of live music to ensure to everyone. “
In response to the fall announcement, Paul Pacifico, executive director of the Independent Music Association, called for investing in the next generation of creators.
He said: “AIM welcomes the government’s proposed cuts to business, but as small independents increasingly suffer from rising costs, UK music could suffer if we don’t create more incentives to invest in the next generation of creative talent and entrepreneurial.
“While we recognize the need for spending cuts in today’s budget, we urge the government to seriously consider measures to support the future of the sector in a spring statement.
“For example, expanding tax incentives for the creative music industry in the UK could play an important role in encouraging investment and maintaining a healthy music ecosystem.”
Philippa Childs, head of broadcasters and creators union Bectu, also criticized the budget, saying: “There is very little in this budget to calm the perfect storm facing the UK theater sector. Its workers and businesses have been hardest hit by the pandemic and continue to face challenges as they try to recover their audience.
“They are now struggling with rising costs of living and low wages, unpredictable occupancy and declining viewership. This is in addition to the current post-Brexit tour restrictions.
“The Chancellor talks about growth and stability, but this budget looks like a missed opportunity to help strengthen the UK’s creative sector. There is little in the “growth” budget rhetoric that shows how the government intends to protect and support the world’s major creative industries, which make great contributions both culturally and economically.
Childs said the lack of “strong measures to support the self-employed” was “hugely disappointing” and that despite payments to bolster energy supplies for the most vulnerable, in a statement about a “workforce still bringing the scars of the pandemic, enduring and continuing to suffer from atypical work.
The Music Venue Trust also responded to the announcement requesting the creation of a live music commission in the UK.
The charity, which works to protect, secure and improve UK music venues, released a statement saying: ‘The Music Venue Trust welcomes the Government’s announcement that incentives for the sale retail, hospitality and leisure will be free, which in most cases includes UK mainstream music platforms, will increase from 50% to 75% from 1 April 2023.
“However, we have written to the Treasury to ask them to clarify what support is being offered for posts above £110,000 – the autumn statement lacks clarity on what is being offered for such posts.
“In January 2020, before the pandemic, the government committed to a comprehensive review of commercial tariffs on mass music venues. We urge the Chancellor and the Prime Minister to conduct this review as soon as possible.
“The UK has the highest level of property tax on mass music venues in Europe. This needs to change if we are to keep our live music industry competitive.
“The government has not decided to respond to calls to reduce the VAT on ticket sales. The UK still has the highest VAT rate in Europe on live music tickets. This has to change for the UK to compete.”
He further added: “The government says it is committed to stability and growth. Despite positive moves to bring some stability to the business numbers for another 12 months, numerous opportunities are still being missed to stabilize and grow the live music industry, budget by budget, state by state.
“Our huge music venue industry creates 29,000 jobs and delivers over 170,000 performances to over 20 million people. This is an important area with real growth potential, but it is not recognized or addressed in this Autumn Declaration.
The Music Venue Trust is calling on the government to create a live music commission. This body may be tasked with exploring important opportunities to stabilize and develop the live music sector in order to inform future public policy so that these opportunities are not permanently lost.
Hannah Essex, co-executive director of the London and British Theater Association, said: “Financial conditions for theaters and producers remain challenging. Supply and production costs have increased significantly and our audience’s disposable income is declining due to the cost of living crisis.
“Under these circumstances, an increase in this budget and increased incentives for corporate retail, hospitality and entertainment rates will provide a small safety net for some of our institutions.
“However, we are now urging the government to pay attention to measures that will stimulate economic growth.
“The theater industry stands ready to partner with government to ensure the growth of our world-leading industry.
“Other welcome measures include increased spending on education and we look forward to sharing the benefits of cultural and creative education with Sir Michael Barber in his new role as adviser to the government’s continuing education programme.”And with the government launching a new energy efficiency task force, we hope to promote the Theater Green Paper as a model for guiding business practices across the sector.”