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NATIONAL RECOVERY PLAN & THE ARTS

Following the publication of the National Recovery Plan, Minister Mary Hanafin’s statement can be seen here. The salient facts as they relate to the arts sector, as set out by Theatre Forum Ireland, are as follows:
The artists tax exemption has been retained but with an annual cap of €40,000. According to the Department, this will cover more than 80% of artists who avail of the scheme currently (10 other tax reliefs have been completely abolished).
Cuts of the budget of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sports
Savings of €76 million need to be made by 2014.
These are being frontloaded in 2011 with a cut of €26 million. Final figures will be announced on Budget Day. €50 million will be saved over the remaining 3 years.

Only €5 million of this €26 million will come from a reduction in allocations to cultural institutions and cultural projects. See below:

Reduced allocations to cultural institutions and cultural projects 5
Reduced funding for sporting bodies and agencies including Irish Sports Council and National Sports Campus 3
Reduction in tourism expenditure through operational efficiencies, prioritisation of activities and more focused tourism marketing investment 5

We checked with the Department today and we understand that the €5 million cut to culture covers budget lines D1-D10 in the annual budget.
In other words €5 million has to be saved from across the following budget lines. How much each organisation will be cut, will be announced on Budget Day on Dec 7th.

D1-2 National  Archives
D3 IMMA, the Chester Beatty Library, National Concert Hall and the Crawford Gallery
D4 Cultural projects
D5 Cultural Infrastructure
D6 Culture Ireland
D7 The Arts Council
D8 National Museum
D9 National Library
D10 The Irish Film Board (However, the bulk of the Film Board’s money comes from the capital budget.
The Minister re-stated her support for the Film Board in her statement today

The capital budget for the Department announced today remains healthy: €96 million in 2011 and €100 million in 2012. While this is spread between Tourism, Culture and Sport, the belief is, there is adequate funding for the Film Board in the capital budget.

Sport appears to have been cut less than the Culture and Tourism budgets.

Given that we were expecting worse, a €5 million cut is not as bad as expected. However it is worth underlining the additional €50 million in cuts, across the whole Department, over the following 3 years.

Worryingly, the Arts Council is specifically mentioned in terms of a reduction in allocation.

The cumulative impact of these cuts over 4 years is of course unknown.

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