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Universal credit system not working for artists, says Julie Hesmondhalgh

Former Coronation Street actor calls for more support, as survey finds lack of safety net for self-employed creatives

More financial support should be available to artists in the periods where they are not working, the former Coronation Street actor Julie Hesmondhalgh has said, as research revealed universal credit is pushing the creative workforce into destitution.

The study by the performing arts union Equity and the University of Warwick found that of those subject to the universal credit rule known as the “minimum income floor” (MIF) – which reduces the amount of support that self-employed creatives are eligible for – 41% had gone without essential items such as food or utilities.

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