Payment should be made to young people for spending on cultural experiences – MEP

Payment Should Be Made To Young People For Spending On Cultural Experiences – Mep
Colm Markey said Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, taking place in Mullingar this week, is an example of the country's "exceptional talent and rich cultural heritage". Photo: PA Images
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An MEP has called for a specific-use payment to be gifted to young people as part of Budget 2024, aimed at promoting culture and the arts.

Colm Markey, MEP for Midlands North-West, said a Culture and Media card worth €200 should be given to young people as they turn 18, "unlocking a world of cultural experiences and media consumption".


Mr Markey said: "After having just attended the fabulous Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Mullingar recently and seeing the exceptional talent and rich cultural heritage on offer there, I think we as a country can do more to support our indigenous arts and culture sector from a young age.

"I firmly believe that investing in the cultural growth of Ireland's young citizens is an investment in the nation's future prosperity and identity."

"By providing this special gift to young adults as they come of age, Ireland can cultivate a generation that deeply values its cultural heritage and embraces diverse artistic expressions," he added.

The initiative is also supported by the National Youth Council of Ireland.


Mr Markey said the card could be issued and accessed via an app, allowing recipients to spend the funds at dedicated selling points, including bookshops, theatres, museums, galleries, and small music venues.

He added the initiative could also have the added effect of "injecting vital support into Ireland's cultural industries".

Describing the card as a "catalyst for self-expression and innovation", Mr Markey added: "By nurturing the demand for cultural experiences, it creates opportunities for artists, performers, cultural institutions, and media producers, strengthening the country's creative economy."

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