VOTE MUSIC! MAIN PARTIES MAKE THEIR BIDS FOR MUSIC BIZ VOTES AS GENERAL ELECTION LOOMS
POLITICS BY DANIEL GUMBLE
As the British public prepares to take to the polls for the third time in as many years ahead of the General Election on Thursday (June 8), Music Week has spoken with the main parties to find out what they have in store for the industry, should they emerge victorious.
Amidst one of the most tumultuous political climates of recent times, the next Government will be tasked with guiding the UK biz out of the European Union, whilst protecting British artists and business interests on the continent. The biz will also want to see the same copyright protection available in the EU established in UK law.
According to current Culture Minister Matt Hancock, both of these issues will be central to the Conservatives’ music policy.
“Making sure creators get rewarded properly for what they do is vital,” he told Music Week. “The protection of their intellectual property is incredibly important.
“We also want to make sure our vibrant live scene continues. We’re going to have a new immigration system and we’ve got to make sure the brightest and the best can still come here and that it works effectively.”
The Tories have also promised a Cultural Development Fund, although they have yet to
Party time: Matt Hancock (left) and Tom Watson (right)
detail the funds available. “It is about making sure arts funding gets to places that haven’t had their fair share in the past,” Hancock said.
Meanwhile, Labour is not only offering a similar Cultural Capital Fund should it win the election, but also promising an exact amount to be distributed.
“We’ve pledged £1 billion to upgrade the UK’s cultural facilities,” Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, told Music Week. “It will be amongst the biggest-ever arts infrastructure funds to boost arts, music, theatre and literature, readying us for the digital age and supporting our economy.
However, Lord Clement-Jones, Liberal Democrats digital economy spokesperson, told Music Week that his is the “party of the creative industries”.
“We would ensure the creative industries were protected in terms of the free movement of people, grant the right to stay for EU citizens, maintain the current standards of IP and ensure the continuation of territorial licensing of rights,” he said.
New UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher, a former Labour MP, said each party makes a convincing case and welcomed their renewed interest in music biz concerns.
“If you look at the main parties’ manifestos, we’ve had far more attention for our issues than ever,” he said. “The main parties get it. Whoever wins, we will work closely with. We want to turn the very welcome, warm words of the manifestos into real action.”
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