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Health minister Carolien Dinenage hit out at SNP’s Jack Nicolson in Commons as he said the UK Government’s help in the creative industries has come too late. Ms Dinenage highlighted the SNP Government would receive £57million through the Barnett formula as Mr Nicolson raged over a lack of funding for self-employed workers. The Barnett formula is a block grant given to devolved administrations to fund most of their spending.

Speaking in Commons, Mr Nicolson said: “All of us are conscious of how tough this virus has been on our galleries, museums, cinemas, theatres and live music venues.

“For too long the UK Government left our creative industries in uncertainty and accumulating debt.

“I regret that for organisations who have already gone under this help is too late.

“I welcome the announcement of £1.57billion lifeline after weeks of campaigning by the creative communities and my colleagues on these benches.

“The UK Government has shown no intention of supporting those not eligible for the self-employed income support scheme.

“If this isn’t addressed, we risk losing a generation who cannot afford to survive without income.

“Will the minister clarify how much, if any, of this funding will go to self-employed workers in the creative industries who have slipped through the net and how will she ensure these funds urgently reach the organisations who have been desperately pleading for help.”

Ms Dinenage replied: “I’m sure the honourable gentleman also meant to welcome the £57million that will be going to Scotland via the Barnett formula as well.

“But he might just incidentally forgotten to do that.

“He’s absolutely right to mention freelancers, we’ve been working tirelessly over recent weeks and months with the sector which enables people to fall through the gap and see what we can do to support them.

“As a result of these grants and loans we know that organisations will be able to continue cultural activity in a social distance way which will increase opportunities for freelancers.

“At the end of the day, that’s what they want more than anything, to get back to work. There’s also £120million for capital projects which have been paused to get back.”

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Their row comes as the Government announced a £1.57 billion support package to “protect” the future of Britain’s museums, galleries and theatres.

Independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues are also eligible for the emergency grants and loans.

The Government said: “Repayable finance (for the loans) will be issued on generous terms tailored for cultural institutions to ensure they are affordable.”

Arts Council England, the Royal Opera House, the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre, and the Music Venue Trust were among those to welcome the funding.

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