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Austria/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.1 Short overview

In Austria, the "LIKUS system" (Länder-Initiative Kultur-Statistik), according to which data on art and culture are divided into branches (e.g. literature, film, photography etc.), has been in use since 1996 in the annual Arts Report (Kunstbericht), in the provincial cultural reports and by STATISTIK AUSTRIA. The development work for LIKUS has been implemented by Otto Hofecker, Institute for Culture Management of the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. This branch-related grid, which divides fields relevant to cultural policy, increases transparency in art and culture support, as it makes the cultural expenditure of all regional and local authorities in Austria comparable with one another. Moreover, the annual Culture Report (Kulturbericht) provides information on state expenditure for the main cultural institutions (e.g. museums), heritage protection etc.

In 2013, the public cultural expenditure of the national, regional and local authorities established by STATISTIK AUSTRIA, according to the LIKUS framework, came to some EUR 2.44 billion, or 0.76% of GDP. Expenditure by the federal government, financed by various ministries and the Federal Chancellery, was EUR 826 million; the provinces, including Vienna, paid out EUR 1 008 million and the municipalities (excluding Vienna) EUR 750 million (each including intergovernmental transfer payments). For the federal government, cultural expenditure was 0.25% of GDP, for the provinces 0.28% and for the municipalities (excluding Vienna) 0.23%. In all, expenditure on art and culture was equivalent to EUR 288 per capita in 2013 (compared to EUR 273 EUR in 2011 and EUR 286 in 2012).

In comparison to 2012, the cultural payments in 2013 rose on average by 1.2% (in the year before there was an increase of 4.9%, and in 2011 a drop of 3.7%), with a significant increase of 5.1% in the municipalities (excluding Vienna); whereas the state (-0.4%) and the federal governments (-0.3%) recorded a slightly decrease. Subsidies from the provinces (excluding Vienna) have more than tripled since 1980; in 2001 the arts and cultural supports of the provinces were for the first time higher than those of the federal government.

The budget for arts and culture of the former Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (as of 2014: Arts and Culture Department of the Federal Chancellery) was EUR 436 million in 2013. Around 34% of this (EUR 150 million) were dedicated to the basic renumerations of the federal museums and the Austrian National Library, which was funded with EUR 23 million. EUR 160 million, 36% of the budget, were allocated to the federal theatres, the Burgtheater received EUR 55.2 million, the States Opera EUR 57.9 million and the Volksoper EUR 41.8 million. 20.5% or EUR 90.5 million of the measures for art and culture by the federal bodies was available for the support of the arts in all branches. Half of this, EUR 45.7 million, was earmarked for the ten biggest institutions (e.g. the Austrian Film Insitute received EUR 16.6 million, the Salzburg Festival EUR 7.7 million. Only 1.52% of the budget, EUR 6.7 million, was invested in ars and culture projects, scholarships, purchase of art works and awards for artists.

The Minister for Arts and Culture, Constitution and Media announced an indicative budget in the amount of EUR 444.2 million for 2016. Mostly large and renowned institutions will benefit from a reallocation of released financial means: Federal Theatres + 14 million EUR (an increase of 9% rising to EUR 162.9 million), Salzburg Festival + 1 million EUR, Bregenz Festival + 500 000 EUR. Further investments will go to preliminary works for the long-planned (and controversially disputed) "House of History" (EUR 2.3 million), to the "ViennaMuseumsQuartier" (2.6 million), to the "World Museum" (3 million) and to the depot of the "Vienna Museum of Technology". The remaining funds shall support contemporary art, in particular the promotion of young performing artists, Jewish museums, circus arts and above all the Austrian film sector.

The monthly consumer expenditure of private households can be represented in culture-related expenditure groups based on the STATISTIK AUSTRIA 2009/10 consumer survey. On average, an Austrian household spent EUR 38 per month on cultural events and EUR 42 for print media, paper and stationery. Households that actually recorded expenditure in these categories paid on average EUR 96 for cultural events and EUR 57 for print media, paper and stationery; the contributing households spent EUR 62 per month books and EUR 34 for newspapers and magazines. The expenditure for audio and video recordings was some EUR 60. Private household monthly expenditure on culture rose by 15% in comparison to the last consumer survey of 2004/05. There is no current data available.

Chapter published: 02-02-2016

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