In response to Budget 2019, Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the restoration of funding to cultural bodies and agencies but has called on the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to finally offer clarity about the government’s commitment to double arts funding by 2025.

Senator Warfield said:

“In 2017, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar committed to double arts funding over seven years. Two budgets later, the government have only increased spending on culture by 13.8% (from €130.2m to €148.2m), a long way off an increase of 100%.

“Minister Madigan said today that this budget demonstrates a realisation of that promise. But the figures simply do not back that up.

“Artists continue to be left devastated by austerity. According to CSO data, artists now earn 3.5% less income than they did in 2013.

“It is therefore critical for the Arts Council to ensure that the full 10% increase provided by Government is passed on to artists who have been making brilliant work, while struggling for years to make ends meet”.