The cabinet is ignoring arts council advice and will press ahead with the big bang approach to cutting spending on the arts, Nos television reports on Friday.
Ministers are due to decide at Friday afternoon’s cabinet meeting on how to cut just under 25% from the arts and culture budget.
The council was commissioned by culture minister Halbe Zijlstra to look at how spending can be cut by €125m a year from 2013 – on top of the €75m in savings he has already pushed through.
In its recommendations, the council said the cuts are so severe that they should be phased in gradually, starting with €72m in 2013.
In total, subsidies for the visual arts and orchestras should be cut by one third while the performing arts, museums, libraries and films should get 25% less funding, the council said.
The government has already put up value added tax on theatre tickets from 6% to 19% in July, the start of the new season. Cinema, circuses and sports events still fall under the 6% tax rate.
The planned cuts in arts spending were widely condemned when they were first announced in October. And Zijlstra was heavily criticised in January when he said the public rather than experts would decide what is ‘good art’.
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