The government has revealed its 2023 Budget today and after last year’s COVID-19 crisis, it is now attempting to address a cost-of-living crisis.
Some key points:
- Funding for Culture Ireland was increased by €2 million to 6.6million from €4.6m last year (NCFA asked for €7 million)
- €130 million in the Arts Council for 2023, the same as last year (NCFA recommended €150 million)
- A €6 million “night time economy” fund is to be established
- The controversial Special Exemption Orders (SEOs) that charge a venue to open late into the night has not been scrapped, instead the fees for a special exemption application order has been halved from €410 to €205 per night. Disappointing when the hopes were they would be waived altogether. SEOs are an unnecessary financial burden on late night venues and establishments.
- Longer term reforms which will be announced when the General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill is published within weeks, which will also affect venues.
- There will be temporary funding of €90 million for tourism and the arts to help support the recovery from the Covid pandemic (topline item with more details to be revealed).
- The VAT rate for hospitality will increase from the pandemic-reduced rate of 9% to 13.5% at the end of February.
- Continue and expand its support of arts, artists and the arts sector as a whole including the Basic Income for the Arts Pilot.
- Enhance support to the National Cultural Institutions (€7.5 million); Support for Night-time Economy initiative; Culture Ireland; Creative Ireland Programme; and the audio visual industry.
- €7 million capital funds for artists’ spaces, and for climate adaptation measures
The National Campaign for the Arts are among the first arts and culture organisations to respond to the Budget today after their pre-budget submission, and it largely welcomes the measures announced by Ministers Donohoe and McGrath.
Here’s the NCFA statement:
We are very pleased to see funding of €6.6million for Culture Ireland, which will address the increased costs of touring abroad and enable Irish artists to continue to showcase their incredible work across the globe after two years of restrictions.
The sustained investment in Creative Ireland, and the securing of the ongoing trial of Basic Income for the Arts are also warmly welcomed.
Angela Dorgan, Chair of NCFA commented: “While we celebrate the continued investment of €130 million in the Arts Council for 2023, which is the key mechanism for the funding of art, artists, arts workers and arts organisations right across the country, it is frustrating that this figure has not increased in line with the other spending increases included in Budget 2023.”
Other measures such as capital funding for climate adaptation, provision of work spaces for artists, night-time economy measures alongside the general supports announced for individuals, families and small businesses are essential measures to ensure our sector survives the challenges of the cost of living crisis being experienced by the whole country.
We are pleased to have Minister Martin’s commitment to continue to work with Minister Humphreys and her officials in the Department of Social Protection to remove the systemic barriers which prevent disabled artists and arts workers from equal participation in the arts.
We look forward to engaging with Minister Martin and her department on the other elements of our pre-Budget submission including investment in research, taxation and insurance reform as well as better equipping our sector for the climate emergency and ensuring we have a fair and diverse workforce.
The NCFA Steering Committee wishes to acknowledge the work of Minister Martin and her Department officials, who have listened to the unified voices of our sector. They clearly understand the value of the arts for all society and are brave and vocal allies of the arts community.