Dáil debates

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions

Arts Plan

2:05 pm

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

The Government appreciates the importance of the cultural and creative industries to Ireland. The Arts Council is the main mechanism through which it directs funding to the arts and artists. The council provides significant support to individual artists through bursaries and individual grants. It also funds means-tested payments to members of Aosdána. The Arts Council recently published its new strategy statement, Making Great Art Work. The strategy sets out the council's plans to lead the development of the arts in the decade to 2025 and prioritises two policy areas, namely, the artist and public engagement.

The work of the Irish Film Board, which my Department funds, is also a significant support for creative workers. The film sector is also supported by the improved tax incentive system introduced by the Government.

This year, as part of budget 2016, I was pleased to announce a 12% increase in allocations across a range of areas. This includes additional funding to the Ireland 2016 centenary programme and a new investment programme for regional arts and cultural centres. Significant benefits will accrue for artists and creative workers from many of the Ireland 2016 programmes supported by this additional funding, including at an international level.

I was also particularly pleased that the Government introduced a 25% increase in the ceiling for the artists exemption from 2015 onwards. This important measure recognises the invaluable contribution artists make to society. The feedback available to me indicates that artists very much welcome the increase in the exemption limits. The scheme ensures that Ireland continues to be a place where the work of artists is valued.

My Department continues to work with other Departments to promote the cultural and creative industries within the framework of the Government's overall objectives under the Action Plan for Jobs.

The place of artists in society has been a significant theme arising from the public consultation process I established for the development of Ireland's first national cultural policy, Culture 2025. This will be reflected in the policy document which I will publish early in the new year.


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