Funding, an open discusion.

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Re: another sword attack..

Postby brendan on Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:54 am

all well and good but Irish reenactment is not likely to ever be that organised - any attempt to centralize will result in a split (probably related to subscriptions and their alleged mis-appropriation) within the first year. And apart from that a significant minority will refuse to join on the basis of who is organizing the register.
Cynical? Maybe.

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Re: another sword attack..

Postby Amhran Nua on Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:28 pm

brendan wrote:all well and good but Irish reenactment is not likely to ever be that organised

I'm not so sure, government funding for niche groups and hobbyists has been non existent to a great extent. If the government were to offer say €5000 per annum to hobbyist groups (individually not regionally) to help pay for events, equipment and promotion, and make as a neccessary part of that effort reigstration and adherence to certain guidelines, nothing to stop the hobby but for example a registrar of sword holders that would automatically include reenactment participants.

Five grand ain't much in the bigger scheme of things, over 100,000 hobbyist groups (almost certainly far more than the total amount of them in the country) it would probably cost less than the damage done by drink driving and associated health problems/costs from the alcohol culture in this country, especially if unusued properties/government buildings are repurposed to act as semi permanent centres for them.

With that said, a sum like that could go a long way towards easing the expenses for many smaller groups.
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Re: another sword attack..

Postby brendan on Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:49 pm

I'm not so sure, government funding for niche groups and hobbyists has been non existent to a great extent

yes, and funding that was there is being cut - most heritage sites are working on shorter hours with staff asked to take pay cuts. New money for stuff is unlikely to happen.

Don't get me wrong, something like this would be a good idea but there is no government money to pay for hobbyists to do what they enjoy.

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Re: another sword attack..

Postby the_power on Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:33 pm

Amhran Nua wrote:
the_power wrote:I could double my take home pay if I moved to Switzerland, due to lower taxes on people and businesses.

Does that include indirect taxes such as VAT?


No, of course not. Though their VAT rates at 7% and 2.4% are a little lower too.

I didn't say it would be cheaper to ban alcohol. It would be more expensive to ban alcohol. The sad fact remains however that there just aren't the alternatives to the pub in Ireland today, I mean real social alternatives, not just places where you are sat with your mouth open looking at a show.


Given 5k for hobbies won't solve people's lack of imagination. It's worth mentioning that if you have an idea that would provide social, cultural etc. benefits, there is funding already available. Some groups used to run themselves as FAS schemes, some as youth clubs, some as cultural groups (the EU has a big budget for events that have 3+ countries represented), and have received funding. It would be useful to get an idea of all the grants that people have gotten over the years, and see could other groups get them.

There are a lot worse places taxes could be going, and its not like this is the only place we would advocate spending taxes. In fact its a drop in the ocean, a drop which nonetheless produces serious bang for your buck, and so should be one of the first areas targeted.


Yes. There are worse places taxes could go. That doesn't make this a good place for them to go. Yes, it's a drop in the ocean. But that doesn't excuse making the ocean bigger.

Besides which we are talking about cutting off a lot of the fat in government, and redirecting the funds to more valuable and productive areas. Depending on how the sums tally up, that might not even entail a rise in taxation. The cost of government has doubled since 2004, after all. Yes, doubled.


Indeed. Which is why it's hysterically funny how the govt is making a big deal of making 5bn in savings, when they have a 10bn a year budget deficit. So, let's concentrate on paying that off first, and the 35bn of money that the banks need, before planning on spending more.

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Re: another sword attack..

Postby Amhran Nua on Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:41 pm

the_power wrote:Given 5k for hobbies won't solve people's lack of imagination. It's worth mentioning that if you have an idea that would provide social, cultural etc. benefits, there is funding already available. Some groups used to run themselves as FAS schemes, some as youth clubs, some as cultural groups (the EU has a big budget for events that have 3+ countries represented), and have received funding. It would be useful to get an idea of all the grants that people have gotten over the years, and see could other groups get them.

Its extremely difficult to get funding for something as valuable as a small business. As a hobbyist its exponentially worse. Think bigger, wider, deeper! :D I'm also not sure where the lack of imagination comment came from. Does this site not give the lie to that.

the_power wrote:Yes. There are worse places taxes could go. That doesn't make this a good place for them to go. Yes, it's a drop in the ocean. But that doesn't excuse making the ocean bigger.

It most certainly does make it a good place for them to go. Did you see the list of benefits they would accrue? Even if they didn't, not everything starts and ends with the big shiny euro, which is why the government spends millions on apparently worthless third level courses like classical English.

the_power wrote:Indeed. Which is why it's hysterically funny how the govt is making a big deal of making 5bn in savings, when they have a 10bn a year budget deficit. So, let's concentrate on paying that off first, and the 35bn of money that the banks need, before planning on spending more.

Eh there are broad policies in place to deal with all of the issues you raised, on the site. Anyway its a €20 billion deficit, in a couple of years a quarter of the tax take will be spent on interest payments on public debt alone, never mind the short term bond rollovers.
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Re: another sword attack..

Postby brendan on Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:22 pm

Is this a discussion about whether reenactment should be a hobby which we pay to enjoy (like Golf) or a public good which needs to be funded (like an art gallery or museum)?

The issues of who funds does depend on what exactly you are asking to be funded. Golf courses have received lottery funding over the years (though I cant specify any instances or recent examples). Individual golfers generally are not funded by the state.

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Re: another sword attack..

Postby Amhran Nua on Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:08 am

brendan wrote:Is this a discussion about whether reenactment should be a hobby which we pay to enjoy (like Golf) or a public good which needs to be funded (like an art gallery or museum)?

The latter one there. We are proposing a general fund for hobbyists, with a (arbitrary pulled out of me bum which may be revised up or down) contribution of say €5000 per annum to hobbies and groups as diverse as amateur astronomy, basket weaving, bronzeworking, poetry recital, and so on, along with facilities for people to meet up. This would be a seperate thing to sports contributions, and obviously some hobbies would need it more than others. This would be for capital costs, advertising and so on, I wouldn't imagine any of it going into someone's pocket or being "paid" to be a hobbyist.
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Re: another sword attack..

Postby brendan on Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:29 am

I wouldn't imagine any of it going into someone's pocket or being "paid" to be a hobbyist.

thing is , I cant imagine this not happening.
I am sure that an appropriate administration process would be set up to combat fraudulent claims etc but that would cost a bunch of money to administer (10 people? = €1 million once you include non labour costs). I assume your intent is to target smaller groupings - thing is, I am AFAIK member of 2or 3 (maybe even 4) reenactment groups - if funding was available this proliferation of groups would grow exponentially...how would this be combated?
Golf clubs have fixed locations, so do GAA clubs. Reenactment groups tend to operate out of the boot of a car or a shed in someone's back garden

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Re: another sword attack..

Postby Amhran Nua on Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:15 am

brendan wrote:I am sure that an appropriate administration process would be set up to combat fraudulent claims etc but that would cost a bunch of money to administer (10 people? = €1 million once you include non labour costs). I assume your intent is to target smaller groupings - thing is, I am AFAIK member of 2or 3 (maybe even 4) reenactment groups - if funding was available this proliferation of groups would grow exponentially...how would this be combated?
Golf clubs have fixed locations, so do GAA clubs. Reenactment groups tend to operate out of the boot of a car or a shed in someone's back gardene/quote]e/quote]

Excellent questions there, of course there will always be an element of dodgyness where the government is handing out money, but this can be dealt with. Things like administration can be streamlined to a great extent through the appropriate use of software systems, an example of this would be in comparing the healthcare administration of Singapore with say that of the US. They managed to reduce their percentage overall costs from 20% to 4% by keeping patient records in a centralised electronic form. In a similar manner, administration costs can be controlled for this intiative.

The system will be self limiting, in that there will always be a limited number of people interested in any given area. Members of individual groups will have to register as such, so the same people couldn't found ten groups under different names and clam funding as such, although groups with say two thirds new members might be eligible. Also funding could be parcelled out among various hobby categories, both existing and new, and partly focused on classes for people that want to get into the various hobbies, so it would really be in two parts.

In fact what we are trying to achieve is an exponential proliferation of groups, not limited to one area of course.

The primary contribution of the initiative would be in the provision of facilities for use by hobbyists. There are quite a few areas of government which have excess areas and indeed staff, which could be repurposed for this use on a rotating basis. Also there are a lot of properties out there which will not be used for the foreseeable future, most of which have outstanding mortgages which are owed to the banks, which in turn are owned by the government at this stage. Failing all that, purpose built facilities for community social initiatives like this would be needed, happily we have 40,000 unemployed construction workers and land prices in freefall, so it should work out quite well.

There are a lot, and I mean a lot of details that need to be pinned down, but the overall concept is good.
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Re: another sword attack..

Postby brendan on Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:34 am

The primary contribution of the initiative would be in the provision of facilities for use by hobbyists. There are quite a few areas of government which have excess areas and indeed staff, which could be repurposed for this use on a rotating basis

What you describe represents a change in job description which would be subject to negotiation with the staff involved. A case in point is the change in work practices in the social welfare department which would have a direct impact on reducing waiting times for welfare payments to be approved. I am not advocating either side of that discussion - that is for elsewhere - but the point is that staffing is not readily available.

On a separate note, I take part in reenactment as a hobby. It is something I enjoy doing. As soon as it becomes a 'Public Good' then it is something I am being provided money to do. On occasion I have received money to take part in events but that generally changes it from a hobby to a job.

Oh, and finally: There are a lot of people doing reenactment who don't really contribute anything to preservation of culture and crafts etc - and I don't expect them to. Where would someone who is only interested in hitting someone else with a metal bar figure in this model?

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