Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts and Culture, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has said that the live entertainment sector has been let down by a weak and ineffective Minister.
Speaking today, Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:
“Workers in the live entertainment sector deserve clarity and a roadmap for the safe reopening of their sector. They were the first sector to close and are the last to have a reopening plan.
“Yesterday, at a meeting with sector representatives, Minister Martin again failed to provide a roadmap for the safe reopening of the sector. She has reportedly blamed her cabinet colleagues for not signing off on it.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the live entertainment sector is being let down by a weak and ineffective Minister.
“Minister Martin’s attempts to pass the blame to the rest of the cabinet that she is part of, will be of no help or comfort to workers in the sector who need to see this roadmap.
“As Minister for the sector, she should be advocating for the industry not deflecting responsibility. Rather than fighting their corner, she has walked off the pitch.
“It is notable that her own party leader is on the Covid-19 cabinet subcommittee. She should explain why she has failed to convince him of the importance of delivering for the sector she represents.
“In the absence of leadership from Minister Martin, Minister Varadkar as Minister for Enterprise must step up to the plate and provide the clarity needed as the entertainment sector is also fundamentally one of enterprise. We need to hear from him what steps he is taking to deliver on this.
“We also need to hear from Minister Humphreys about what she is doing to protect these workers from pending cuts to their financial supports. In less than 3 weeks, the PUP is due to be slashed which will have a devastating impact on workers in this industry who are already struggling to cope financially.
“Thousands of workers work in the live entertainment sector, including performers, technicians, cleaners, admin and security staff, to name just a few. They have been badly let down by this government’s indifference to their need to protect their livelihood.
“There can be no more delays on this, the sector needs to see a roadmap for safe reopening delivered soon.”