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Chris Philp – Question Time – Support for live entertainment during the Coronavirus

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Well first of all I completely accept everything that the James and Gerald are saying about the importance of the art sector I mean clearly it's a huge economic contributor as James very powerfully set out, but it's so much more than that it enriches our cultural lives it gives entertainment, it gives meaning, it attracts tourists to the country Sure, so given that can you see the government extending a helping hand? Let me take that question in two parts, so in terms of what we've done already I would obviously strongly strongly encourage every arts organization to fully use all of the existing schemes James mentioned the furlough scheme already and every organisation in the position of for example theater should be using that scheme to have their staff who can't work and paid at 80 percent of their regular salary and the government is funding that and has recently extended it, there are significant loan schemes available and the government's backed loan schemes that have paid out now over 20 billion pounds so again I would encourage them to use that There's no question the government has has has made a massive output when it comes to trying to support businesses but there are a lot of people employed in the theater who who can't access the furlough scheme and a lot of theaters are saying that the loans just don't really apply to them so which is why they're asking for money so I'm just asking you is there anything additional you think the government might do? I mean just yesterday Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, announced the creation of a task force specifically to look into the issues that James and Gerald are raising, clearly the arts sector does have a unique certain unique set of circumstances it is going to be the most difficult to restart for obvious reasons and this task force launched yesterday is designed to address exactly these issues and but I hope again as we get through this situation as the science improves and we get things like antibody testing and if the antibody testing is rolled out and there is some level of immunity which we hope we can't be certain we hope there will be people who have those antibodies in that immunity probably can go to the theater so I think science again can really help get through this but in the meantime that task force is here to help with exactly what James and Gerald are raising

Source: Youtube

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