Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Questions (662)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

662. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if the music entertainment business assistance scheme will open in April 2021 as announced by her on the 9 March 2021. [20670/21]

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Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I was pleased to announce recently a new €50 million suite of additional measures to further support the Live Entertainment Sector this year. As part of this suite, an allocation of €14m will be made available for the Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) to make a contribution to the overheads of businesses, specifically musicians and related crew, that have been significantly negatively affected by COVID-19 and that do not qualify for other business supports. The main features of this new scheme will see support offered by way of two levels of flat payments:

- €2,500 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of €20,000 - €100,000;

- €5,000 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover in excess of €100,000.

Under the scheme, businesses including musicians, singers, lighting and sound crew and audio equipment suppliers - whether sole traders, partnerships or incorporated entities - operating exclusively within the commercial live entertainment sector will be eligible to apply. This scheme has been developed following wide consultation with the sector and will be managed directly by my Department. Department officials are finalising the administrative arrangements for this scheme and it is hoped that the scheme will open for applications in the coming weeks when the necessary IT systems are in place.