Press release – Tuesday 10th October 2017
The National Campaign for the Arts today expressed deep disappointment at the minimal increases for the sector in Budget 2018. This is despite the Government greatly raising expectations in the last year through its high-level initiative Creative Ireland whose stated aim is to raise the priority of arts, culture and creativity across Government, and the Taoiseach’s campaign pledge to double investment in the sector.
Budget allocations to key organisations are modest, in particular the Arts Council moving from €65m to €68m, an uplift of just 5% compared to last year’s increase of 8%, and equally disappointing in percentage terms compared to Culture Ireland’s increase from €3.5m to €4m (14%) and the Irish Film Board from €16.5m to €18m (9%). These figures fall far below expectations.
The contrast with Canada is striking: both the Taoiseach and the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, campaigned for office with a pledge to double arts and culture funding, but PM Trudeau actually delivered on his pledge in his first budget last year, setting out a concrete 5-year programme of increases. The NCFA therefore calls on the Taoiseach as a matter of urgency to set out a concrete and credible path to delivering his pledge and to clarify if this commitment still exists.
Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA), Jo Mangan stated that, ‘The Budget 2018 decisions are completely inconsistent with the commitments, and indeed policy focus, outlined by An Taoiseach and through the prism of Creative Ireland. We’re deeply disappointed at the funding allocations issued today and call on An Taoiseach to outline how his commitment of a 100% uplift to the Department’s funding will now be achieved over the coming years. Today’s announcements have proved underwhelming for our beleaguered sector where even the announcement of an increase in the minimum wage will have no impact as the majority of those working in the arts earn less than €10,000 per annum. We are a long way from restoring the €30 million stripped from the Arts Council funding since 2008. As we continue to sit at the bottom of the EU league for investment in the arts, the NCFA calls on the Government to apply their own strategy to double arts funding to the EU average as a matter of urgency.”.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ARTS
Established in 2009 as a response to the McCarthy Report, The National Campaign for the Arts is a nationwide, volunteer-led, grass roots movement that makes the case for the arts in Ireland. It seeks to ensure that the arts are on local and national government agendas and are recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life.
The NCFA’s ambitious but inclusive proposition is to work with the Government and the sector to recognise the centrality of the arts to the future, as well as the history, of our nation, and to achieve an appropriate and functional level of state investment in the arts and culture.
For further information, visit http://www.ncfa.ie
For media information, contact:
(01) 675 0695