I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 165 together.
Government policy on the arts is set out in the Programme for Government. The Government appreciates the importance of the arts, culture and the creative industries to both our society and to our economy. The arts sector continue to offer vital opportunities for the provision of important cultural, social and employment benefits to communities throughout the country. The nature of employment within the arts sector encompasses a very wide range of activities. It can include those engaged in the arts practice within specific artistic genres and can also encompass areas which flow from such artistic pursuits. It may also embody the whole industrial creative sectors, including the audiovisual production sector.
The Government appreciates and values the contribution the arts sector makes to the internationally renowned artistic reputation of this country. Within the current economic constraints, investment in the arts, culture and creative sectors is more important than ever, having regard to the employment intensity of the sector. In October 2012, the Arts Council published its latest update of the Assessment of the Economic Impact of the Arts in Ireland and it is available at http://www.artscouncil.ie/en/publications/research_publications.aspx. As the Deputy will be aware, in the Government's Action Plan for Jobs, there are 11 specific actions in the areas of arts, culture and creative enterprise which are to be undertaken by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the agencies under its remit. The relevant actions are set out in section 7 of the Plan and I look forward to continuing progress in relation to these actions in the period ahead.