More than 70,000 people have signed a petition calling for the state to scrap a controversial new tax on creative stitches.
The Fine Gael-led coalition government has promised to scrap the tax, which will bring in a tax of up to €60 a piece on the number of creative stitches the artist produces.
The measure, which was introduced by Fine Gael minister for education and skills, Marie Collins, will cost the State about €15 million.
The petition has attracted a healthy online following, with nearly half of its supporters backing it.
It also calls on the Government to consider a number of other measures to support the creative sector, including a crackdown on counterfeiters and more help for young people.
“The Irish are not knucklehead artists, they are people who are passionate about their craft,” the petition reads.
“They are not going to just get the money they need from Fine Gael and they are not just going to sit on their hands when it comes to their taxes.
The petition is not the first to call for a ban on the tax.”
We need to have a real debate about this and to ensure that creative industries like this are not exploited.”
The petition is not the first to call for a ban on the tax.
Earlier this year, the Fine Gael government proposed a new stamp duty on “the most important forms of creative production” that could raise about €12 million.
A spokeswoman for Fine Gael said the petition is “not about the money”.
“It is about protecting our economy from those who would steal from the creative industries of the country,” she said.
The Department of Arts and Heritage said the tax has “no legal basis”.
“The tax was introduced to protect the quality of our creative industries,” a spokesperson said.
“It was introduced as a way of ensuring that creative work in our country is valued, and it is a tax that is only paid on creative works.”
Creative work is of the highest value in our society and we support the arts and our people to continue to do so.