Written Answers. - Grants to Arts Bodies.

478.

asked the Taoiseach if he will outline in detail the total amount of grants paid out of government funds each year since 1978 to (a) the Arts Council, (b) ballet, (c) Project Arts Centre, (d) opera, (e) plays and drama, (f) Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the funding of these organisations and activities.

The annual allocation of State funds for the Arts Council since 1978 is as follows:

Year

Amount

£

1978

1,565,000

1979

2,340,000

1980

3,000,000

1981

3,750,000

1982

4,082,000

1983

4,954,000

1984 (Estimate)

5,193,000

State assistance to cultural interests as in (b), (c), (d) and (e) of the Deputy's question is via the Arts Council, which has statutory independence in the disbursement of its grant-in-aid to cultural bodies. I have arranged for the Arts Council to furnish these figures to the Deputy.

With regard to (f), Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is in receipt of State funds via Roinn na Gaeltachta, the Arts Council and the Cultural Relations Committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Prior to 1979, Comhaltas received grants from Bord Fáilte for their entertainment scheme. Responsibility for that particular scheme was transferred to the Arts Council in 1979. The grants which the Arts Council make to Comhaltas are in respect of specific cultural activities and were never intended to subsidise their overall operational costs, or their capital projects.

The total amounts paid by the State sources to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann since 1978 are as follows:

Year

Arts Council

Roinn na Gaeltachta

Cultural Relations Committee-Department of Foreign Affairs.

Total

1978

(£35,600)*

£100,000

£1,000

£136,600

1979

£41,360

£100,000

£3,000

£144,360

1980

£41,300

£110,000

£3,000

£154,300

1981

£51,120

£125,000

£3,000

£179,120

1982

£51,120

£110,000

£3,000

£164,120

1983

£59,700

£110,000

£4,000

£173,700

1984

£59,900

£110,000

£4,000

£173,900

(Estimate)

(Estimate)

(Estimate)

(Estimate)

The Government's funding of the arts has been complemented by the recent budgetary decision to reduce VAT on tickets for live performances from 23 per cent, thereby foregoing an estimated tax revenue of £1 million and by the intended provision, via the Fund of Suitors, of £600,000 for certain capital projects in the artistic and cultural spheres. Footnote: "From Bord Fáilte.