Support from Mary Upton TD (Labour)

STATEMENT BY MARY UPTON TD

Labour Party Spokesperson on Arts, Sport and Tourism
Thursday 05th November 2009

Upton Welcomes Report on Economic Value of the Arts

Labour Party spokesperson on Arts, Sport and Tourism Mary Upton TD has
welcomed the publication of a report commissioned by the Arts Council which
has highlighted the economic value of the Arts to the economy.

Deputy Upton commented “I welcome the publication of this report carried out
on behalf of the Arts Council into the economic value of the Arts. This
report highlights that the arts sector is worth €782 million a year to the
economy and employs 26,519 people. At a time when all Government spending is
under review in the wake of the McCarthy Report and in anticipation of the
Budget this report clearly sets out the importance of this sector to the
economy. “

Deputy Upton stated “Unfortunately the Arts, together with a number of other
areas such as Sport and Development Aid, is seen as an easy target. Arts
funding has suffered two consecutive hits in the two budgets in the last
year. With this report we can finally show that the Arts sector is a huge
boost to the economy and that cutting funding to Arts organisations will
lead to a reduction in spending and employment in the economy. But a nation
is more than its Gross Domestic Product or its economy; the Arts nurture the
spiritual and cultural elements of society. If we turn off the tap of state
support it will take years to recover. “

Deputy Upton concluded “If we want to grow our way out of this banking and
housing depression then we need to continue to support those industries that
are providing jobs and money in the economy. This report could hardly have
come at a better time as it shows the economic and employment case for
keeping supporting and sustaining the Arts and combined with the social and
cultural importance of the arts I believe the Government can no longer
countenance further disproportionate cuts in this sector.

ENDS

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