The maintenance of the Arts Council funding at E130 million, and €25 for a basic income scheme for artists are among the key points for the arts and culture sector in this year's budget.

Full details of the budget allocation for the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will be revealed at a departmental briefing tomorrow, however Minister Catherine Martin released a number of the 'top line' figures this afternoon. These include a sum of €25 million euro for the live entertainment sector which also very badly hit by Covid 19 and €5.5million euro for the new Media Commission. Meanwhile E4.3m in additional funding has been allocated for Irish language programming at TG4.

Chair of the Arts Council Kevin Rafter said the funding is a 'clear signal that the arts sector is central to the government's recovery plan', while the representative body the National Campaign for the Arts said the proposed basic income guarantee scheme was something it had worked hard for, and it was looking forward to seeing key details as they emerged. The group said that continued investment in arts and culture will be vital in ensuring the sector survives the challenges of the pandemic and begins to build for a sustainable future, and it described this investment as a 'first step forward' in addressing what it termed the damage inflicted during a decade of cuts before the pandemic.

CEO of Screen Ireland Susan Kirby said Screen Ireland's 22% increase in capital funding to €32m shows the confidence the Government has in the creative screen sector. She said the increase in capital will enable more Irish independent production companies to develop and produce dynamic, diverse and award winning content. She also welcomed the increase in funding to TG4, saying it would enable Irish language production companies, principally located outside the Dublin / Wicklow hub to create content and employment opportunity.

A full briefing from Minister Catherine Martin TD and Minister of State Jack Chambers TD will take place tomorrow afternoon.