HomeResourcesPolicyCultural Policy Readout / 31 August 2020

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has launched 11 new trade advisory groups

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has increased its engagement with British industry including the creative industries as UK trade negotiations intensify. Eleven new trade advisory groups, covering a range of key sectors, have been established to provide knowledge and experience. Their advice will be used to help inform the government’s negotiating position and deliver key industry asks that benefit the whole UK. For the creative industries, the members are:

Arts Council England opens applications for the second round of the Theatre Artists Fund and Help Musicians’ Financial Hardship Fund

Arts Council England are helping individuals and freelancers in the creative industries by contributing an additional £1 million each to the Theatre Artists Fund and the Help Musicians’ Financial Hardship Fund. The first fund will help as many freelancers as possible who work in the performing arts, which will be the last element of the cultural sectors to fully reopen. The fund offers easy access individual grants of £1000 for freelance professional theatre workers, round two of the funds opened for applications on Thursday 27 August and runs for two weeks. The Help Musicians’ Financial Hardship Fund is currently in phase two and providing monthly support from July to October to around 3,600 musicians.

The decrease in tourism could wipe £22bn from UK economy says the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)

The UK is forecast to lose £22 billion in spending as international tourism falls, putting almost 3 million jobs at risk according to the WTTC report, the Guardian reveals. Due to the continuing uncertainty around travel restrictions, millions of people are opting for holidays in their home countries instead. An impact assessment on the UK economy by WTTC estimates the fall in international tourist numbers could result in the amount spent dropping by 78 per cent, or £420 million a week. The “worst-case” scenario described by the WTTC would depict the UK travel and tourism industry losing almost 3 million jobs. “

The lack of international travel caused by the pandemic could wipe out more than £22bn from the UK economy alone, a loss of £60m a day, from which it could take years to recover,” said Gloria Guevara, the President and Chief Executive of the WTTC. “It could also threaten London’s position as one of the world’s premier hubs for business and leisure travel, which could see other destinations take over.”

Culture in the House

The Houses of Parliament have returned from recess meaning both the House of Lords and the House of Commons are both sitting, Whitehouse will resume monitoring any relevant written/oral questions, legislation, and committee sessions.

Covid Update

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced a scheme to pay coronavirus sufferers and their contacts to self-isolate. The scheme will be piloted in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham and only apply to local lockdown areas. It will pay those on low incomes who test positive £132 to isolate for 10 days and those identified as contacts £182 to isolate for 14 days, from 1 September. Its introduction follows evidence that some people are refusing to self-isolate because of loss of income. 

The government has performed a U-turn on its policy on face masks in schools in England. Pupils in secondary schools will now be required to wear them in corridors and communal areas in local lockdown areas, with headteachers in other areas given the discretion to make their own decisions. It is hoped that the move will boost confidence, with a senior Government source telling the paper “we know schools are safe but in areas of high transmission we do need to be even more careful”.

Emergency plans drawn up by the government to protect the UK if a second coronavirus spike coincides with a no-deal Brexit have been revealed in Sky News. A Cabinet Office ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ document, dated July 2020, originally leaked to The Sun newspaper warns amongst that there could be power and petrol shortages in parts of the UK if lorries end up stuck in Dover and a shortage in medical supply.

Boris Johnson has launched a drive to try to persuade more British workers to return to their offices. This week a publicity campaign will make the ’emotional case’ for returning, including the benefits to mental health, and claim that ‘the workplace is a safe place’. A new online tool will show which trains and buses are the most crowded. However, ministers will also warn of the downsides of not returning to work, claiming that it will be easier for bosses to make redundant those who do not do so. Johnson and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, are reportedly concerned about the implications of empty city centres for businesses and jobs in these locations, and for public transport costs.

Whitehouse Consultancy

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