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Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, speaking directly after April’s emergency budget said: “Our task now is to protect jobs, restore economic activity, while we bring stability to the public finances, maximise short-term economic activity and improve our country’s competitiveness.”
The Minister added, “The Arts, Sport and Tourism sectors are important drivers within the economy - both as contributors to economic growth and to employment levels. One fifth of the working force in our country earns their living from tourism/ hospitality, arts and sports. Between them they generate almost six and half billion Euros in foreign currency earnings per year.”

So how much has been cut? The Minister has sought to minimise the reductions in relation to the Tourism Services, as the sector brings in €4.8 billion in foreign revenue earnings and €2 billion in tax revenues. The Tourism Marketing Fund, which stands at €47.25 million, has been largely protected as a strategic priority. However, expenditure in relation to tourism has been reduced by €16 million from €169 million in 2008 to €153m in 2009, a reduction of 9.5%.
Expenditure in relation to the Arts, Culture and Film sector has reduced by e41m from €221m in 2008 to €180m in 2009, a reduction of 18.5%. Within this, the reduction in relation to current expenditure has been 6% while the reduction in relation to capital expenditure has been 42%, owing primarily to the completion of once off major capital projects such as the Wexford Festival Opera House and the Gate Theatre extension.
The Minister said, “The bulk of the cuts in this sector have been concentrated into capital expenditure to protect day-to-day expenditure and ensure venues remain open, job losses are minimised and the contribution to cultural tourism enhanced.” Pre-2009 commitments in respect of local arts and culture (capital) infrastructure will be honoured. Current funding to the Arts Council, the state agency which develops and supports the arts in Ireland will be confirmed on the publication of the Revised Estimates.”

Permalink - Posted: April 30, 2009 at 11:26 am