Creatives put at heart of Lib Dem's economic plan

The Liberal Democrats have gone further to woo the creative industries ahead of polling day tomorrow than just offering them more manifesto pledges than the Conservatives and Labour.

In fact, Nick Clegg’s party has now vowed to put Britain’s “thriving” creative industries at the heart of its plan for the UK’s economic recovery, and its plan for growth.

Launched at a Creative Industries Federation event in London, the ‘Power of Creativity 2’ is what the deputy PM and his party hailed as their “strategy for the creative industries.”

Many of the actions for the creative industries that the strategy commits to taking actually surfaced in the Lib Dems’ manifesto, launched last month, though some appear to be new.

For example, the strategy talks of “creating a consistent language through which we can define our creative sector for the purposes of promotion, measurement and support.”

It also commits to creating a ministerial position with responsibility for both the creative industries and intellectual property.

Both of these pledges were not in the party’s manifesto.

In the 24-page strategy document, the Lib Dems also say they will:

  • Review whether the law governing unfair contracts should be extended to include intellectual property contracts
  • Continue to support the Creative Industries Council, and build on the international and development strategy laid out in Create UK
  • Improve actions on skills by merging the two skills councils, Creative & Cultural Skills and Creative Skillset, into a single body
  • Require local authorities to publish their per-head spend on culture and the arts
  • Enshrine the principle of ownership of personal data in a Digital Bill of Rights
  • Repeal section 73 of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988, which requires public service broadcasters to give away their most valuable product – their channels – to the pay-TV cable platform in the UK
  • Use a variety of measures to ensure that there is a vibrant local and ‘hyperlocal’ media
  • Enable Ofcom to set down conditions to prevent the reach of any media company damaging the public interest
  • Further extend, when possible under EU law, the application of Public Lending Right to remote e-lending (having already extended it to audio and e-books)
  • Work with our EU partners to impress upon emerging economies that valuing copyright can further assist their economic development
  • Increase sanctions relating to online offences, subject to suitable safeguards, to ensure that ordinary members of the public are not inadvertently criminalised, in line with the recent Government review of penalties for online copyright infringement.

The strategy also contains commitments to maintain the status quo, such as keeping in place free admission to national museums and galleries, and the tax breaks for seven creative fields.

“[We] exist to build a stronger economy and a fairer society,” the party says in the document.

“The creative industries are fundamental to delivering these objectives. We want to see creative businesses thriving – across the whole country, and not just in London – so that our economy can continue to reap the benefits of this booming sector.”


6th May 2015

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