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Record $10 billion in Government support for the creative sector
Australia’s creative and cultural sectors have benefitted through more than $10 billion in wages and cash-flow support from the Morrison Government during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to analysis released by the Bureau of Communications, Arts and Regional Research (BCARR).
The analysis estimates that employees and businesses in cultural and creative sectors received $10.7 billion from the Government to support their operations, including $8 billion in JobKeeper payments between April and December 2020, and $2.7 billion in Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments to early February 2021.
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the analysis highlights the Government’s commitment to supporting creative and cultural sectors during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has posed a significant challenge for creative and cultural sectors, which is why we moved quickly to introduce support measures such as JobKeeper to keep organisations open and people in jobs,” Minister Fletcher said.
“The estimate the government provided in April 2020 was that the combination of the JobKeeper package and other measures would provide support to people working in the cultural and creative sector totalling between $4 billion and $10 billion.
“Early in the pandemic, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke accused the government of massively overstating our COVID-19 response to the creative industries.”
“How can the Minister claim with a straight face that the support being provided to the sector will be anything near $10 billion?” – MEAA, May 2020.
“Earlier in the year he claimed up to $10 billion in support was going to arts sector workers, including through JobKeeper. Even he now concedes the true figure is a fraction of that.” – Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke, October 2020
“As the figures released today show, Burke and the MEAA were dead wrong. This detailed analysis confirms that the level of support delivered by the Morrison Government was in fact above the estimated range,” Minister Fletcher said.
BCARR’s analysis indicates that more than half of employees and businesses in these sectors received this vital assistance during the peak of the pandemic.
These whole-of-economy measures were supplemented by targeted funding, including more than $800 million announced by the Government for the arts and entertainment sector in 2020, and more than $400 million of additional support announced in 2021.
The combined impact of existing funding and new measures included in this year’s budget is that the Morrison Government is investing more than $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22.
A fact sheet outlining BCARR’s analysis can be found on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.