The supplementary budget for 2009 was a necessary measure to bring stability to the public finances, to restore economic activity and to enhance Ireland's competitiveness. It is critical that we manage the immediate economic difficulties in order that Ireland is well positioned to take full advantage of the international recovery when it arrives. This has meant that certain measures have been necessary, including a reduction in the budgets of Departments. In my Department, the budget for 2009 is €531 million, a reduction of 27% on the 2008 figure of €727 million. In addition to this, the National Gallery Vote, for which I also have responsibility, has a budget of €11.2 million in 2009, down 11% on the 2008 figure. Notwithstanding the cuts in funding for this year, my Department will press ahead with the implementation of a broad range of programmes across the arts, sport and tourism sectors.
The allocation for expenditure in the arts, culture and film sector for 2009 is €180 million, a reduction of 18.5% on the 2008 allocation of €221 million, including the National Gallery Vote. Within this, there is a reduction of 42% in capital expenditure, owing primarily to the completion of once off projects such as Wexford Opera House and the Gate Theatre extension. The bulk of the cuts in this sector have been concentrated into capital expenditure to protect day-to-day expenditure and ensure venues stay open, job losses are minimised and the contribution of cultural tourism enhanced.
The allocation for sport this year is €195 million, a reduction of 42% compared to the 2008 allocation of €336 million. The 2008 figure, of course, takes account of once-off expenditure of €116 million on the Lansdowne Road project. Taking this amount out of the calculations, the reduction in funding for sport for 2009 is of the order of 11%. This allocation will allow all commitments made up to, and including, 2008 under the sports capital and local authority swimming pool programmes to be met. The provision of €56 million for the sports capital programme will ensure that existing commitments will be met and that a range of modern, well-equipped and well managed facilities will be brought into use.
Similarly, regarding the local authority swimming pools programme, while there will be no new round of the programme in 2009, the current round provided for 57 swimming pool projects. Of these, 43 projects have been completed and opened to the public and our priority now is to work with the relevant local authorities to open the remaining 14 pools to the public. The allocation for tourism is €153 million, a reduction of 9.5% compared to the 2008 figure of €169 million. I have sought to minimise the reductions in the tourism services budget in line with the Government's stated priority of protecting economic sectors that contribute to job creation, foreign revenue earnings and tax yield for the Exchequer. Tourism supports an estimated 288,000 jobs and generates €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. Experience has shown that maintaining marketing spending in difficult times can position Irish tourism for a faster recovery. This marketing fund, used by both Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, is enabling a major reinvigorated marketing programme to be rolled out in 2009 to promote the island of Ireland as an attractive destination for visitors.
The allocation of funding for the agencies and bodies under the aegis of my Department is outlined in the Revised Estimates published last week. As the Deputy will be aware, it is a matter for the agencies to determine how best to allocate that funding within their organisations. The arts, sport and tourism sectors are important drivers within the economy as they contribute to both economic growth and employment levels. I have sought to minimise the reductions in funding to these sectors and I am satisfied the levels of funding available for 2009 will ensure that they continue to contribute to Ireland's economic recovery and growth.