The Greens have slammed the Treasurer for forgetting the Arts and Entertainment Industry in the Federal Budget, an oversight that will cost more jobs and make recovery even harder.
Greens Spokesperson for the Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“The Arts and Entertainment Industry was one of the first to be hit by social distancing restrictions, it has suffered enormously throughout the lockdown and will be one of the last to recover.
“Yet the Treasurer didn’t even utter the word ‘art’ last night. Clearly the $112bn a year arts and entertainment industry does not matter to the Morrison Government.
“Tax cuts for an industry with the second highest loss of payroll jobs is completely meaningless.
“Investing in creative arts would create more jobs than tax cuts ever will.
“The Budget paints a picture of giving millions to national cultural institutions yet in reality, funding to organisations like the National Library of Australia is cut significantly over the forward estimates.
“The Australia Council which is historically underfunded gets a token $1.4m which will barely keep it operating let alone hit the pockets of artists and creatives.
“Arts and entertainment workers were largely excluded from JobKeeper and are facing $40 a day on JobSeeker.
“The arts and entertainment industry is vital to our economic recovery. Not only are other industries like tourism, hospitality and accommodation all going to benefit from its revival, but the sector is primed for stimulus.
“The industry can go in early and hard and put money into the pockets of workers who are in great need of an income and are going to spend what they earn.
“This comes off the back of cruel uni fee hikes for arts and humanities degrees, shutting many out of a creative education.
“The Morrison Government has failed the arts and entertainment industry and now a generation of artists will be lost on their watch.”