Irish gov't agency: Cut arts funding

Department of finance says IFB is too costly

LONDON -- The Irish government's department of finance recommended late last week to shave €37 million in arts and culture funding, including cuts that would drastically affect the Irish Film Board.

The recommendations from the advisory board include the transfer of the Irish Film Board's functions to a new enterprise agency and pulling the plug on the investment fund.

"The Group considers that continued funding of the Irish Film Board is not affordable at this time in the context of other more pressing spending priorities. Given the scale of tax expenditure (€418 million since 1993 and €33 million in 2008) via the tax incentive scheme for this sector, and given the level of international competition in this market space, there is no objective economic case for subventing the Irish Film Industry," the 300-page report says.

The report indicates that with the transfer of duties and the shutdown of the IFB's fund, around 17 positions would go.