National Campaign for the Arts and EPIC Publish Submissions for Budget 2021

National Campaign for the Arts and EPIC Publish Submissions for Budget 2021

Increase of Arts Council funding to €135 million; reinstatement of €350 Pandemic Unemployment Payment; increased investment in Irish arts abroad; insurance reform; and a reduction in the rate of VAT on ticket sales among the recommendations.

This week, the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) and the Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group (EPIC) have both published their recommendations for the 2021 Government Budget. 

The documents aim to ensure a recovery in the arts and events sectors and support for artists, arts workers, event industry professionals and arts organisations. 

NCFA’s Pre-Budget Submission follows on from the organisation’s National Arts Recovery Plan, which was published in May. Among the recommendations in the new document are as follows: 

  • The continuation of the Pandemic Uneployment Payment and Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme until mass gatherings are permitted again, and that the PUP remains at €350; 
  • Increase Arts Council to €135 million in 2021, and for arts funding to be doubled by 2025;
  • Increase funding to Culture Ireland by €10 million;
  • Prioritise the trial of the Universal Basic Income for all citizens;
  • Classify local authority arts spending as a mandatory requirement and encourage funding of creative industries and arts via Local Enterprise Offices and LEADER funds;
  • Commission a review of taxation practice, including an examination of VAT, gifting to the arts, and measures on artists’ incomes;
  • Insurance reform, including encouraging insurance companies to refund public liability and employers liability insurances where there is no risk due to work being cancelled, and the  introduction of a state insurance scheme for the arts and cultural sector;
  • Adapt the new EU Directive on Copyright by June 2021 to ensure fair remuneration for online creative content; and
  • Establish a cross-departmental task force, led by the Arts Council. (This was announced by Minister Catherine Martin last week, although the full membership has not been published yet.)

EPIC submission
EPIC, which focuses on the commercial events industry in Ireland, has outlined nine demands in their Pre-Budget Submission. 
The recommendations are as follows: 

  • Reinstatement of the Wage Subsidy Scheme support payment of €410 and Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350;
  • Implement a ‘scaffolding support fund’, equivalent to the level allocated to the state-funded arts sector, to help protect and sustain the sector;
  • An extension of the business rates waiver for a period of thirty-six months to allow organisations to recover; 
  • Reduction in the rate of VAT on ticket sales to 5% to aid with the staged re-opening of the sector at likely greatly reduced capacity;
  • A VAT Tax Credit for businesses in the sector to inspire trade at reduced capacity and enhance the opportunity for businesses to return to work;
  • Implement a taskforce on insurance to review cancellation insurance for events;
  • Extension of the credit guarantee scheme to ensure SMEs can borrow 100% loan requirements due to extreme difficulty with securing the remaining 20% from Irish banks;
  • Stimulus packages to support sole owner businesses and small businesses, including schools and colleges, musical societies and small venues; and
  • Confirmation that the recently announced cross-departmental taskforce for the sector will be a long-standing body with representation on the taskforce for the commercial live events sector. 

For the full NCFA Pre-Budget Submission 2020, see here. For EPIC’s submission, see here


Published on 16 September 2020

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