Ahead of the Budget details to be announced this month, the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) have shared their Pre-Budget Submission 2021 detailing the requirements for arts in Ireland after a devastating six months where COVID-19 shut down everything in the sector.
The NCFA issued their submission on behalf of 55,000 artists, arts workers and arts organisations.
In its submission it says:
89% of NCFA members are living with financial uncertainty. More than 2.4m audience members were impacted by COVID-19 in Ireland, with 91% of arts organisations reporting €2.9 million loss per month since March 2020. These cancelled and postponed events were the livelihoods of our artists and arts workers.
“September 2020 finds us standing on the edge of a precipice, the most critical juncture ever faced by Ireland’s creative community. “
Government support has helped artists, arts workers and arts organisations survive the immediate impact of COVID-19, but it is essential that this support is maintained and increased in 2021 to ensure the sector can make a full recovery
Here’s an overview of what they are recommending:
- Ensure artists and arts workers are supported through the PUP and EWSS until mass gatherings are permitted again and cultural events can take place at full capacity. Ensure that the PUP remains at €350 for the Arts and Events sector. Ensure measures are brought in to allow for the blended income streams, yearly fluctuations, and short-term employment opportunities as well as reassessing the age restrictions to allow older artists who have continued in employment beyond the age of 66.
- Increase funding to the Arts Council to €135 million in 2021 with a view to at least doubling investment in the Arts Council by 2025.
- Increase Funding to Culture Ireland to €10 million to continue strong connections with the UK and Europe in the context of Brexit, and globally to meet the demands, expectations and successes of Global Ireland 2025.
- Prioritise and expedite the trial for Universal Basic Income outlined in the Programme for Government to develop a model for UBI for all citizens over the lifetime of this government.
- Classify local authority arts spending as a mandatory requirement.
- We support the call to commission a review of taxation practice as it relates to the arts in Ireland and internationally to make recommendations around the tax regime including an examination of VAT, gifting to the arts, and possible measures on artists’ incomes.
- Total insurance reform in the following key areas: recalibrate the Book of Quantum to reflect international norms and norms already established by the Court of Appeal; redefine and rebalance the ‘Common Duty of Care’ to require the occupier to take a duty of care that is reasonable, practical and proportionate; re-establish a Garda Insurance Fraud Unit; produce a schedule of forecast reductions for reforms. Encourage insurance companies to refund all public liability and employers liability insurances where there is no risk due to work being cancelled. Introduction of a state insurance scheme via IPB for the arts and cultural sector in receipt of state funding, which offers cover for those organisations who find that insurance product is unavailable and inaccessible to their needs.
- Transpose the European Union’s Directive on Copyright for the Digital Single Market into national law by June 2021 in line with all other European Union member states to ensure fair remuneration for online creative content.
- Honour the Programme for Government commitment to establish a cross departmental task force, led by the Arts Council, to protect and sustain the arts and culture sector through the COVID-19 recovery and beyond.
Full Text of NCFA Pre-Budget Submission 2021: http://ncfa.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/NCFA-Pre-Budget-Submission-1.pdf