Irish Equity condemns Budget 2014 for further erosion of arts funding

Job losses and a reduction in Ireland’s tourism potential are the inevitable outcome of plans in Budget 2014 to implement a sixth successive year of funding cuts in the arts sector, according to SIPTU Arts and Culture Sector Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin.

Overall, the arts sector is due to see its funding reduced from €250 million in 2013 to €233 million in 2014, an overall cut of 7%, under plans announced by the Government in Budget 2014 on Tuesday (15th October).

Karan O’Loughlin, said: “The cuts will greatly affect actors, musicians and theatre workers as the already limited pool of work dries up even further.

“Arts Council funding has been particularly hard hit. The organisation has lost 30% of its funding over the last five years, after 10 years of unprecedented growth that saw an infrastructure develop that is now being dismantled.  The Council cannot continue to cut organisations’ funding year on year as they become unviable and unsustainable.”

Karan O’Loughlin added: “As well as the immeasurable detrimental cultural impact of these cuts they also make little economic sense. The arts are central to economic recovery, as the sector is a major employer
and is one of Ireland’s unique selling points,  attracting millions in euro of spending from cultural tourists.”

“This continued erosion of the funding of the Arts is slowing strangling a vital aspect of Irish life and accruing very little, if any, savings for the State.”