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‘More money needed for cultural sector freelancers’

THE NETHERLANDS. Culture subsidies must be raised if cultural institutions are to pay actors, musicians and other self-employed artists a proper wage, according to Joop Daalmeijer who is stepping down as chairman of the Council for Culture this week.

In an interview with the NRC, the government’s cultural adviser said it is a disgrace to ‘reduce people who are doing great things and have invested a great deal in their training to the status of beggars.’

The number of self-employed artists has increased significantly since the latest round of culture cutbacks four years ago when some €200m was shaved off the budget. The economic crisis also had an effect, he said.

According to culture ministry figures the number of permanent job contracts went down by 14.3% between 2010 and 2015 while the number of self-employed grew by 14.2%. Some 56% of the people in the creative professions are now self-employed and half earn less than €30,000 a year, the NRC said.

If the government is not prepared to add some €15m to the budget ‘it will have to tell more cultural instititions to pack it in. The rest can then pay their workers a decent wage,’ Daalmeijer told the paper.

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