Cuts of over €30 million to the programme areas of Arts, Culture and Film in amount to cultural vandalism.

Despite that overall reduction, Minister Heather Humphries announced increased funding to a number of state bodies. Those increases are to be welcomed.

However, the transformative effect of cultural activity to the individual, and to society must be given greater recognition as our economy recovers. No citizen can go about their day without engaging with the arts.

Budget 2017 significantly reduces capital spend by more than €34 million when programme areas of Arts, Culture, and Film, as well as Irish language, Gaeltacht, and Islands are combined.

That reduction in capital could have been used to support growth in animation, and the Irish film industry.

Capital investment could have addressed regional imbalance amongst our cultural institutions – truly recognising their mandate as ‘national’.

It could have supported works and preservation at our museums, libraries, galleries and institutions, or offered our artists security of tenure in urban centres via state support for artist spaces.