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Positive Momentum to Increase Arts Funding has Stalled in Budget 2023 – Sherlock

27 September 2022

  • No increase in Arts Council funding for 2023
  • Substantial reform of the night-time economy still needed
  • Budget delivers little or nothing for disabled artists and workers
  • Labour sought a greater and more creative increase in Irish language funding

Labour Party spokesperson on Arts, Culture, Media and the Gaeltacht Senator Marie Sherlock has commented in response to the announcements made for Budget 2023.

Senator Sherlock said:

“It’s clear that more could have been done to support the artistic and cultural sectors in Budget 2023. There will be serious disappointment that Arts Council funding has stayed static for the third year in a row.

“The positive momentum for investing in the arts, which we saw coming out of the pandemic, appears to have stalled. While Culture Ireland funding has been increased, it should have gone further and been accompanied by a meaningful boost to the work of the Arts Council.

“The night-time economy is vitally important for the future of our towns and cities, but again the momentum for serious reform seems to have slowed. Cutting the special exemption fee is welcome, but fundamentally this is tinkering around the edges when we need substantial and long-overdue reform to unleash the potential of our night-time economy.

“One of the most disappointing aspects of this budget is how little it delivers for disabled workers in the arts and cultural sectors. Despite clear, consistent campaigning from disabled artists, we see little or nothing in Budget 2023 which will empower them after decades of exclusion from funding and support. Indeed, any supports for disabled workers in Budget 2023 will be completely exhausted by Christmas, while structural barriers against their work will now remain in place.  

“I also would have welcomed a greater and more creative investment in the Irish language in Budget 2023. In particular, Labour called for significant funding for a jobs investment package through Údarás na Gaeltachta, new funding in Irish film through Screen Ireland and major investments in TG4, Raidío Rí-Rá and An Taibhdhearc, the National Irish Language Theatre.”