Sinn Féin Arts & Culture spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed the €5 million Live Performance Support Scheme announced by Minister Catherine Martin yesterday and has urged creative industry workers and event organisers to apply before the very short deadline of 25 September 2020.
The Dublin South Central TD went on to say however that the €1 million stimulus package announced for the music industry “is not nearly enough, especially if it is meant to replace the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) for self-employed musicians and other in the music industry workers”.
Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:
“Without a larger and more sustainable package, musicians who survived on the Pandemic Unemployed Payment till now may find themselves worse off and struggling to survive, forcing them out of the industry or even the country. A huge loss for them and for Ireland.
“5,032 workers from the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Sectors are still in receipt of the PUP as of September 2020, and many of these will not be covered by either of the schemes announced.
“It is also worth noting that the Music Stimulus Package is restricted to professional musicians who are already established, meaning there appears to be nothing in the stimulus for the countless musicians without productions teams who make a living off their work, and nothing to foster new talent and help the sector grow.
“Yesterday’s funding announcements were also limited to the music and events sectors, and do not address the plight of other artists and dancers who demand clarity and vital assistance from the government.
“Clarity is also needed on the public health guidelines for workers in the sector trying to get back on their feet. For example, current restrictions mean that while 30 children can attend their class in school day-in-day-out, and 50 adults can exercise together in a gym, yet no more than 6 students can attend an Irish dancing class, no matter how large the hall or how many precautions taken.
“The Minister must provide necessary clarity on these rules, as well as more sustainable funding for the industry at large, to ensure no artist or musician is left behind.
“It is also important for the Minister to make certain that the funding from these schemes is not simply given to large production and events companies or established industry players, but also benefits the many smaller groups and self-employed artists that are the backbone of our cultural sector.”