Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Education, Culture and Science) cannot guarantee that 150 million euros in corona support, which will be distributed via municipalities from 2021, will actually end up with makers and institutions in the cultural sector.

A spokesman for the minister confirms this in conversation with NU.nl on Tuesday

The cabinet announced on Monday that the second support package for the cultural sector - of which the 150 million is part - must reach the makers in the cultural sector.

However, the amount of 150 million euros is not earmarked and does not have to be spent on supporting cultural institutions.

As a result, municipalities can theoretically use the money for other purposes.

"After research and consultation with local authorities, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has opted for the construction without earmarking in order not to burden municipalities with unnecessary administrative burdens", says van Engelshoven.

"I assume that municipalities will also use the funds for culture, because the need in the cultural and creative sector is high."

Ear tags mean less freedom for the municipalities, according to the minister, because the ministry must then indicate exactly what the money is intended for.

According to her, that is precisely not the intention, because it would only delay the proper completion of the corona support.

Culture sector concerned about lack of obligation

Both the Museum Association and the umbrella organization of the Arts '92 are concerned about the fact that municipalities can in principle use the money for other purposes.

"We think it is important that the money actually ends up with artists and art institutions", Jan Zoet of the umbrella organization told NU.nl.

"The municipalities are the largest funder of cultural institutions, but due to the corona crisis themselves are also facing many financial problems."

'Trust in municipalities, but earmarking offers clarity'

"If you interpret culture broadly, municipalities can also use this money to compensate the real estate company for lost rental income from the cultural sector. We have confidence in the good intentions of municipalities, but earmarking does provide clarity and clarity", says Zoet.

The Council for Culture has received signals that the sector fears this scenario, the advisory body of the government and parliament in the field of art, culture and media told NU.nl on Tuesday.

A day earlier, chairman Marijke van Hees of the Council for Culture told

the

Volkskrant

that she hoped that municipalities would not use the money to fill the gap in the delayed rent of cultural institutions.

Museum Association is appealing to the House of Representatives

The Museum Association informs NU.nl that it will continue its efforts to ensure that the 150 million euros of corona support will go to museums and other cultural institutions.

"A targeted payment prevents the emergency aid from disappearing into the general resources of municipalities. That is why we are calling on the House of Representatives to do so," said director Mirjam Moll of the trade association.

Only then can it be certain that the money will also end up where it is intended for. "

Association of Dutch Municipalities: Worries are not justified

The Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) calls the concerns from the cultural sector unjustified and endorses Van Engelshoven's argument about red tape.

"Municipalities are doing everything they can to ensure that money actually ends up where it is intended", a VNG spokesperson told NU.nl.

"We cannot imagine that it would be any different in this case."

"With 2 billion euros, municipalities are the largest provider of subsidies to the cultural sector. It is precisely in our interest and that of our residents to preserve cultural institutions."