- 08 Jun 21
The Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) is encouraging musicians, entertainers and road crew to apply for the Government's new €14 million scheme.
The Music & Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) will be open from tomorrow, June 9th, for musicians, entertainers and road crew affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) are hoping that much of the industry will apply for the first non-competitive funding grant available to self-employed workers in the entertainment sector - who have just passed 450 days of continuous restrictions on their work.
Despite urging everyone to apply, MEAI also recognises that some of the criteria included by the Department of Arts & Culture will exclude workers who would otherwise be eligible.
The Music & Entertainment Cross-Party Committee have also written to the Taoiseach and Government Ministers expressing their disappointment over the criteria, and calling for the MEBAS criteria to be brought in line with similar support schemes.
The Committee, chaired by Senator Eugene Murphy, has raised concerns over stricter criteria for the new scheme compared to the that being used for the SBASC scheme from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Workers in the sector are being asked to present minimum business costs in order to be eligible, despite this requirement not being used for the SBASC scheme.
MEAI has supported the Committee's letter and expressed their disappointment at the criteria.
“Workers in this sector have endured the longest period of non-stop restrictions since March 2020; unable to work, to earn a living, and when we finally get recognised as businesses and finally get a business support, the Department want us to jump through more hoops than other businesses,” said Matt McGranaghan, spokesperson for MEAI.
MEAI is also highly concerned about prospective cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) from September and warns that the Music & Entertainment industry might not be up and running to a level that can survive without supports.
“The reductions are a major worry, but the phased transitioning of PUP recipients on the lowest rate to Jobseeker’s is the silent threat with hidden dangers,” said Mr McGranaghan.
The proposed transitioning to Jobseeker’s is not being welcomed by MEAI, who want the PUP to remain because of the protection it offers its recipients especially in the eyes of banks and insurance companies.
The Music & Entertainment Cross-Party Committee also raised their concerns about the impending PUP cuts in the letter which was distributed to the Taoiseach and other Government Ministers on Friday morning.
More information can be found on the website of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media here.
NEW SCHEME LAUNCHED 🎤
A fund of €14m was announced by @cathmartingreen for the Music & Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme MEBAS which will contribute to costs in businesses in the live entertainment sector.
Applications open➡️ 9 June
More info: https://t.co/pW7IsHwWdu pic.twitter.com/8PFHoVe2i0
— Tourism-Culture-Arts-Gaeltacht-Sport-Media (@DeptCulturelRL) June 2, 2021