Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Budget 2012 - Film & the Arts

There is something very strange when, this long after a Budget has been published, neither the Department or Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, the Irish Film Board or the Arts Council has quantified and published a breakdown (current/capital) of their budget for the year ahead.

In former years there would have been a table published which set out the current and capital amounts allocated under each area of the Department's remit, inculding subsidiary boards and agencies. And those agencies would in turn have issued a press release or statement to acknowledge the funding for the following year.

But this year, so far, I can find only one account of the Film Board's capital allocation for 2012 - my own blog posting of yesterday afternoon. There seems to be no clarity on the Board's administration budget for 2012. Is it a straight cut of 5% or 11% or 15% on this year's allocation? Your guess is as good as mine. [actually it's a 4% increase - see update below]

Similarly, the budget for the Arts Council is not at all clear - there is a greatly reduced capital expenditure line with the implication that the balance is to come from Lottery funds. There is no statement of the Council's current spending budget for 2012.

Either I'm missing something or a basic and embarassing error has been made somewhere in the public service, possibly as a result of the decision to split the budget decision-making and publication between two Departments over two days. Or is it conceivable that they might still be juggling current spending allocations for next year within the D/AH&G?

If you can enlighten me, please do.

Department statement here, includes this quote: In line with reductions in the Public Capital Programme, the capital allocation for the arts, culture and film area has been scaled back. However, the current funding allocation for 2012 to the Irish Film Board at €2.54m represents a modest increase of 4% over the 2011 provision. “It is important to remember that for every €1 of IFB investment close to €10 is generated in the economy” added Minister Deenihan. [I wonder does this exclude S481 spend effects? I will revisit this question in a future post]
Arts Council statement here
Film Board statement here
Minister speaking in the Dáil

Spending overview D/AH&G (€-,000)
A,H&G---306,089--308,170---275,585 -32,585 (-10.6%)
Current-245,274--245,355----231,585 -13,770 (-5.6%)
Capital---60,815---62,815-----44,000 -18,815 (-30.0%)

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