Artists' tax exemption


Madam, – I was distressed to read that the Commission for Taxation has recommended the complete abolition of the artists’ tax exemption (Home News, August 28th). This is the final insult to the arts sector following the recommendations of the McCarthy report to abolish such worthy organisations as Culture Ireland and the Irish Film Board.

The exemption was introduced in 1969 and has been in place through some pretty dire economic times at a relatively small cost to the exchequer, in the process helping many worthy artists to practise their art professionally rather than join the dole queues.

If the Government decides to bring such sweeping cuts to the arts sector they can expect to seriously damage the prospects of our future Becketts, Bacons and Bonos. The old joke,“I’m a government-sponsored artist, I draw the dole” will come clad in irony then. – Yours, etc,


(Composer and musician),



Co Galway.