Thursday, 19 September 2019

Questions (26)

Niamh Smyth


26. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the priorities for her Department for budget 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37877/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I refer the Deputy to my earlier reply to her Priority Question.

The overall spending allocations for my Department for 2020 will be announced as part of Budget Estimates 2020 which is due to be published on Tuesday, 8th October. As budgetary negotiations are ongoing I am not in a position to comment in detail on my Department's 2020 budget allocation.

My colleague, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform has recently announced that Budget 2020 will be based on the assumption of a no-deal Brexit. Against that background, my Department will, within the resources available in 2020, continue to place emphasis on core functions and services, including measures to:

- maintain the momentum created across the arts and culture sphere by initiatives funded by, or through, my Department, consistent with the Taoiseach's commitment to double the funding to the sector by 2025 allowing my Department to build on the increased funding received in the 2019 Budget of 10% in respect of the Arts Council, 11% in respect of Screen Ireland, 19% in respect of Creative Ireland as well as over €2 million additional funding secured in respect of our National Cultural Institutions who welcome more than 3.5 million visitors annually;

- to conserve and manage our heritage as a support to economic renewal and sustainable employment, in compliance with legal obligations and to conserve and restore biodiversity and ecosystems in Ireland to focus on the environment;

- further advance the statutory demand-led Language Planning Process and ensure continued access to our islands;

- promote North-South co-operation, particularly in the context of An Foras Teanga and Waterways Ireland; and

- deliver on Project Ireland 2040 which gave explicit recognition to the importance of our culture, language and heritage to our sustainable development over the next decade and beyond. This recognition is underpinned by the commitment by Government to invest almost €1.2 billion in our culture, language and heritage over the 10-year implementation of the NDP. Project Ireland 2040 provides for an investment of €460 million in the National Cultural Institutions, €265 million for a culture and creativity investment programme, €285 million in our natural and built heritage and €178 million to support and protect the Irish language, Gaeltacht communities and communities on our offshore islands.