I am aware of the challenges referred to in the question and I am continuing to deliver additional supports to the arts and culture sectors including the film sector in line with Government commitments, as evidenced in Budget 2019. The cumulative impact of these funding increases is testament to the commitment to double Government spending in the arts, culture and heritage sector.
My Department and I will continue to work rigorously with all of my Government colleagues towards delivering on the commitment to increase Government spending in the arts and culture sector. I am already delivering additional supports to the arts and culture sector, building on the €1.2 billion earmarked for culture, heritage and the Irish language under Project Ireland 2040, thus leading to increased activity and employment across all sectors under the remit of my Department.
Primary support for the arts is delivered through the Arts Council. Funding for the Arts Council has increased in recent years and now stands at €75 million in 2019, and increase of some €6.8m or 10% over 2018. The Arts Council operates within a published 10 year strategic framework entitled Making Great Art Work which prioritises support for artists throughout their careers.
The remit of Culture Ireland, a division of my Department, is to promote and advance Irish arts worldwide thus strengthening Ireland’s cultural profile and global. The work of Culture Ireland is focused not just on promoting Ireland but also increasing career opportunities for Irish artists.
In tandem with securing additional funding, my Department has also worked to address conditions and employment rights in the performing arts and screen industry in conjunction with the relevant agencies under its remit. In that context, the Deputy may be aware that the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is undertaking an audit of the independent film and television drama production sector with a view to examining industrial relations generally, employment practices and procedures, assessing issues arising (if any), and making recommendations for their improvement where appropriate. In this regard, the WRC has invited submissions on these matters by 31 October, 2019.