Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Budget 2014

15th October 2014 by Maura McHugh

On Tuesday, 14 October the details of 2014 Budget were announced. Here are the highlights in relation to the Arts:

  • €4 million package to roll out an integrated plan to commemorate 1916
  • Funding for current expenditure has increased for the first time in six years
  • Financial support for our National Cultural Institutions has been protected, following several difficult years of cutbacks
  • Minister for Finance commits to explore measures to boost the film and TV sector
  • The artist tax exemption is increasing by €10,000 from €40,000 to €50,000

During her statement about this year’s budget the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD said:

“I am particularly pleased that the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, has today signalled his intention to look at ways to further boost the film and TV sector. More than 5,000 people are employed in the Irish audio visual sector, which has gained a very strong reputation internationally in recent years. Increasing the €50 million cap for film tax relief would help to attract more international projects to Ireland and create hundreds of new jobs, and I look forward to pursuing this in more detail with Minister Noonan over the coming year.”

“The increase in the threshold for the artists’ tax exemption from €40,000 to €50,000 is a clear recognition of the need to support artists. Artists are the bedrock of our culture and they continue to represent us at home and abroad with great distinction.”

The Irish Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD said on this matter:

“The new Irish film tax credit scheme is due to commence in 2015 and I am very pleased that it has been broadly welcomed by the film industry. The film industry is very important to modern Irish culture and to the economy, not just in terms of jobs but also indirectly through tourism promotion. As the new scheme beds down next year, I will be monitoring how it works and how it can be improved. One of the issues that I will consider in the context of Budget 2016 is a possible increase to the €50 million cap on eligible expenditure, subject of course to resource constraints.”

Earlier in 2013, the Irish government extended the Section 481 scheme to 2020 and increased its value to 32% as of 2016. This improvement and the change announced in the 2014 budget has now been brought forward to 2015.

4.4% Cut for Irish Film Board

7th December 2010 by Maura McHugh

Irish Film BoardThe capital budget for Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has been announced as €16 million for 2011, which represents a 3% cut from the 2010 budget allocation. The administration budget has been reduced by 12.3% to €2,4 million, bringing the total budget cut for the IFB to 4.4%.

Commenting on the 2011 budget recommendations IFB Chairman James Morris said

“The combination of ambitious creatively driven Irish projects and high profile international productions all working in Ireland in the last year is set to continue into the year ahead on the basis of today’s budget. Irish producers, directors, writers, actors, and technicians not only benefit from the employment this level of activity represents, their growing international reputation for professionalism, creativity and energy lays the foundation for sustainable future growth.”

In a year which calls for unprecedented funding cuts across all sectors, a 4.4% cut in the IFB budget represents an endorsement from the Government in the Irish film and television sector and what it can deliver to the Irish economy. This sector presents opportunities for job growth and international investment and is a central contributor to the digital creative economy.

Despite the downturn in the economy, 2010 has been a very successful year for the Irish film and television industry on a number of levels. With five Academy Award nominations, three of which were for IFB funded projects, together with representation at many of the A-list international film festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, and Toronto, positive images of our cultural creativity and images of Ireland have been projected around the world this year.

It was also a very busy year for film and television production, with projects including Steven Soderberg’s Haywire, This Must be the Place starring Sean Penn, the major TV drama series Camelot and a host of local Irish films. These incoming and local productions translate into increased international investment in the Irish economy, increased employment and positive spin-off effects for promoting Ireland as a tourist destination.

2011 will also start off the year on a high note with Albert Nobbs starring Glenn Close in production in Dublin and Wicklow and there are three Irish films in Official Competition at the Sundance Film Festival which will begin a specific focus on utilising film to promote Ireland in a positive light throughout the US in 2011, in partnership with Culture Ireland.

Hanafin’s Press Statement on Arts Funding

24th November 2010 by Maura McHugh

Deptment of Tourism, Culture and SportOver €360 million will be spent on capital projects across the Tourism, Culture and Sport sectors over the next four years said Minister Mary Hanafin T.D., today (24th November 2010) following the publication of details of the Governments National Recovery Plan. “This funding will enable us to complete the upgrading of tourist attractions, support continued investment in the film and audio-visual production sector and meet the commitments of the Department’s capital programmes in relation to the grants approved under the Sports Capital Programme, the Local Authority Swimming Pools Programme and the arts and culture infrastructure programmes.

All Government Departments are making their contribution towards the economic recovery and the Government has made some very difficult choices. The adjustments in allocations for the three sectors, while not easy, are proportionate and measured.

The savings in current spending for 2011 total €17million, of which €4million will be in administrative non-pay overheads. Total current spending across the three sectors will be in the order of €296million in 2011. Over the lifetime of the plan the Tourism, Culture and Sport areas will contribute savings of €76million in current expenditure.”

Minister Hanafin welcomed the clear recognition of the tourism industry in the National Recovery Plan as a labour-intensive sector that will provide job opportunities and foreign revenue earnings as the economy recovers. “

Our priority now is to continue to invest, upgrade and promote the tourism product in order to take advantage of the recovery.

In the coming years we will be focussing on upgrading major tourist attractions, developing a number of key iconic attractions, improving infrastructure in key growth areas such as walking, water-based activities, cycling and heritage. Investment will also continue to enhance and promote cultural tourism, eco tourism and conference business across the country.

Investment in ICT to achieve these objectives will also be prioritised.” Minister Hanafin said another key aspect of the plan is the steps which will be taken to liberalise visa restrictions for visitors from long haul markets. “All of the research points to a growth in tourism numbers from new markets, in particular India, China and the Gulf States.”

In relation to the hotel sector, there is a commitment to pursue legislation to overhaul and streamline the property revaluation process, as revaluation to date has resulted in significant reductions in commercial rates for hotel premises. The undertakings to maintain the lower VAT rate on labour intensive services and to introduce a new Business Investment Targeted Employment Scheme to replace BES are also very positive developments for this sector.

For many enterprises in the tourism and hospitality area currently facing cost and pricing pressures, the proposed measures in the National Recovery Plan designed to increase labour flexibility, through modification of the National Minimum Wage and a speedy review of the Joint Labour Committee Framework, will be welcomed.

“We are looking to increase visitor numbers to 8 million by 2015, which will have the potential to deliver up to 15,000 extra jobs directly in the sector.”

Minister Hanafin said investment in arts, culture and the film sectors in the 2005 to 2010 period is over €1.1bn. “In that time, there has been an unprecedented investment in national and regional arts and culture infrastructure, performance venues and film and TV production capacities.

Visitor numbers to the National Culture Institutions have grown by over 75% and participation rates in the culture and arts activities have increased. In the context of the four year plan, we will continue to prioritise capital investment in the film and audiovisual content production sector and maintain the exhibitions programmes at the National Cultural Institutions. We will complete the refurbishment of the Historic Wings of the National Gallery, the upgrade of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the upgrade of the National Museum on Kildare St. The digitisation programmes of key historic papers and collections will continue and,regionally, we will continue to invest to support the cultural tourism product, especially in the use and deployment of smart technologies.”

Day to day expenditure will be concentrated on national and regional venues, building excellent programming and leveraging the regional festivals programme. Through Culture Ireland, building on our arts and culture reputation abroad to grow further business and economic links and developing the cultural tourism product market for the home and international markets.

The funding being allocated to the sport sector over the lifetime of the plan will assist the Irish Sports Council in their support for a range of existing programmes. Minister Hanafin said “sport is an integral part of Irish life and culture, and participation in all sports has a positive effect of individuals’ health and wellbeing. The fact that a local town, club or county is competing in sports is also a matter of immense pride and the positive impact of this cannot be lost sight of in the current national climate. Support for our elite athletes is also funded through the Irish Sports Council and in the past week I received the submission on behalf of the Governing bodies for Sport in Ireland which highlighted how sport matters to our health, economy, tourism and our communities.”

Artists’ Tax Exemption: 40K

24th November 2010 by Maura McHugh

Dail Eireann

Today the Irish government announced its National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 to cope with our current financial crisis.

There are many tough measures being introduced, but of particular interest to writers is the lowering of the cap on the Artists’ Exemption from Income Tax to €40,000 in earnings.

It’s under 6.6 General Tax Expenditures, on page 96 of the document.

No Tax Change for Artists

15th October 2010 by Maura McHugh

The Irish Times has a report today on the comments to the Dáil by the Minister for Arts Mary Hanafin about the artists’ tax exemption scheme.

She told the Dáil she had “no plans to have any further review of the scheme carried out at this time”.

The scheme, introduced 41 years ago to create an environment in which the arts could flourish, offers tax exemptions for certain artists and writers. The Minister said the scheme “marks Ireland out as unique in Europe in its support for its artists”.

The arrangement was changed in last December’s budget, with a new entry-level income restriction of €125,000 and a full restriction applying at €400,000. The Minister said 82 per cent of people who benefit from the scheme earn €40,000 a year or less.

Asked by Labour arts spokeswoman Mary Upton to examine how the exemption is distributed, Ms Hanafin said she was reluctant to suggest changing the scheme “at all, lest people think we would like to change it entirely”.

They did not want to do that because it was a “good internationally recognised scheme”. She suggested “it is best to let the hare sit”.