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Budget 2023: Funding allocations for TG4, RTÉ, Screen Ireland, and Coimisiún na Meán
28 Sep 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Minister Catherine Martin and Jack Chambers.
Organisations within the Arts, Cultural, Media, and Broadcasting industries have welcomed the news of financial increases to annual budgets and a €60m fund to subsidise energy bills under Budget 2023

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and Minister of State, Jack Chambers TD, today announced details of €1,142m gross funding allocated to the department in Budget 2023.

The Department stated that these new funding streams and measures run in parallel to, and in addition to, the wider, all-of-society Cost of Living support measures announced by the Government yesterday. Separately, the Government has announced a strong package of horizontal supports, helping citizens, practitioners, organisations and groups manage the current cost of living increases.

TG4

Following several years of sustained growth domestically and huge international success with the creation of Irish language feature film under the Cine4 scheme in association with Screen Ireland and the BAI, the Government has allocated an additional €7.3 million to TG4 for 2023 – the largest ever increase to the Irish broadcaster.

According to the Department, this will allow TG4 continue to fulfil its vital role in ensuring the provision of high-quality Irish language audiovisual content, serving Irish-speaking communities, and supporting regional creativity and content production, and delivering on Government’s continued commitment to its 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 and associated 5-Year Action Plan

Minister for State, Jack Chambers said: “Increased funding is being made available for TG4, which will help consolidate the use of Irish as a community language in Gaeltacht areas, and indeed its use across Ireland as a whole. Seen alongside the Government’s historic Cost of Living supports package announced yesterday which will also support the Gaeltacht regions, Budget 2023 represents a measured and targeted approach to supporting our important sectors over the coming year.”

This increased funding will also support the launch of a new dedicated Irish language children’s channel, Cúla4, to enhance services for younger audiences.

Speaking about the funding, Director General Alan Esslemont welcomed the news saying: "I am very grateful to Minister Catherine Martin for her visionary leadership as Minister. I am greatly indebted to the Secretary General and the officers of the Department for their continued support for the TG4 strategy, ‘Post-Covid Vision’, a strategy that was drawn up by the TG4 Board under the astute leadership of the former TG4 Chair, Siún Ní Raghallaigh.

“This significant increase in the TG4 Budget shows the Government's confidence in the management and staff of TG4 and in the independent creative sector that provides world-class content for Irish audiences. Media has a great influence on minority languages around the world because it confers status on those languages. TG4's strategic vision is to get to a level of resources on a par with those of S4C in Wales and EITB in the Basque Country. Work will now continue to achieve that goal."

Screen Ireland

The national agency for the Irish screen industry, Screen Ireland has welcomed the Irish Government’s continued support in Budget 2023, with a €1 million increase to the agency’s capital budget. This follows yesterdays announcement by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, TD, that Section 481 - the Irish tax incentive for film, television, and animation, was also extended to 2028. 

The Screen Ireland capital budget for 2023 will stand at €33.058 million with an administrative budget of €4.68 million. The organisation has also confirmed that up to €3.5 million from the 2023 budget will be ringfenced to support Regional Activity.

Susan Bergin, Chair of the Board of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland welcomed the news saying: “Our sincere thanks to Minister Catherine Martin T.D. for her significant support and recognition of the Irish screen industry. The Minister’s continued advocacy for Irish arts and culture and, in particular, the artists and creative professionals who make up the creative industries, has been exceptional.

“Regional activity remains a key focus for Screen Ireland as it is essential to growing the industry sustainably across the country. With this in mind, we plan to ringfence up to €3.5 million in the 2023 budget for regional activity to address the need for further supports in this area.”

“We were also delighted to welcome the extension of Section 481, the tax incentive for the Irish screen industry, to 2028. Section 481 underpins the success of the Irish screen sector. It is essential to the further growth of the industry, creating increased job opportunities, spend in the Irish economy across the country, and most crucially, structured skills development for Irish crew nationwide.” 

Coimisiún na Meán / RTÉ

As part of its commitment to promoting and supporting a diverse and plural media sector as one of the key pillars of our democracy and wider society, the Department has allocated exchequer funding of €7.5 million to the support the establishment of the new media regulator, Coimisiún na Meán. The new commission aims to support the provision of high quality public service media, high quality content for the Irish public, and effective regulation of online safety.

A key element of this framework will be a new Media Fund, recommended by the Future of Media Commission, providing supports to the entire media sector on a platform-neutral basis. As a first step, Government is providing €6m to enable the introduction of Courts Reporting and Local Democracy Reporting Schemes in 2023. This will apply to local, regional and national media. 

These new supports complement the changes to VAT on newspapers and news periodicals in printed and digital formats, which will enable newspapers to invest in all news platforms and independent journalism. The Future of Media Commission recommended interim funding of €15m for RTE in 2022.

As such, €15m is being made available in 2023 for public service broadcasting; this funding will be used to address the Commission’s recommendation on funding for RTE.  This funding will be provided to RTE through the licence fee mechanism and recognises the increasing number of free TV licences being provided to the over 70s.

Arts and Culture

As reported yesterday, the Department has confirmed the retention of the record €130m funding for the Arts Council in 2023, in recognition of the transformational impact of this funding and to support artists and arts organisations as it looks to further develop the sector.

An additional €10m in 2023 has been allocated to fund the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme. The three year, €105m scheme, involving 2,000 artists and creative arts workers, which aims to support each beneficiary in developing and sustaining a professional arts practice.

The Department has also confirmed a €2m increase in funding for Culture Ireland for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide, while additional capital funding of €7m has been allocated for artists’ spaces and climate adaptation, including a new scheme, details of which will be announced shortly.

Up to €500k for supports for artists and arts workers has been put in place by Minister Martin’s Department in partnership with the Irish Theatre Institute and others, as part of the ‘Safe to Create’ programme, coordinated by ITI. This is in response to concerns about harassment and inequality in the sector as found in the ‘SPEAK UP’ report.

While the Department is also exploring options for up to €2m in capital supports for stakeholders in the Night Time Economy, in the context of the implementation of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce Report. This is in addition to €4m in current spending for a range of initiatives and pilot projects to support a more vibrant and diverse Night-Time Economy.

Speaking about the Budget allocation, Minister Catherine Martin said: “In relation to the current cost of living challenges, The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme announced yesterday will support those businesses in my sectors, mainly in the Tourism sector, dealing with the impact of increased natural gas and electricity costs. I will also work with my Government colleagues and sectors in relation to the €60m support provided in 2022 for the impact of increased energy bills on the not-for-profit and voluntary organisations in a number of sectors, including the sectors under my aegis.” 

“Cost of Living increases are putting additional pressures on the sectors overseen by my Department, in common with wider society. These sectors are emerging from the extraordinarily challenging Covid-19 crisis in a relatively stable condition, given the extent of Covid-specific Government supports throughout. The Government has now responded strongly to the fresh pressures brought by increasing energy costs and inflation.

“In that context, Budget 2023 brings a wide range of exciting and important new initiatives, supporting further growth and development with the important sectors of tourism, arts and culture, Gaeltacht, sport and media. Government is committed to strengthening the media sector, which plays such a vital role in our democracy and wider society. This Budget marks a significant step in Government’s commitment to the sector following the publication of the Future of Media Commission report in July.

“The largest ever increase in funding to TG4 not only underpins Government’s commitment to delivering on the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030, but is a further boost to the Irish language creative sector. This increase will also enable TG4 to launch a new dedicated children’s channel, Cúla4, which builds on the success of existing Cúla4 programming, BLOC and Molscéal. This new channel will include a children’s news service, entertainment and education content, drama, Irish animation, and will reflect the diverse backgrounds of children living in all parts of Ireland, but particularly in Gaeltacht and Irish speaking communities.





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