"Unprecedented" basic income guarantee scheme for artists to be piloted 1 year ago

"Unprecedented" basic income guarantee scheme for artists to be piloted

Arts organisation the NCFA said the move has the potential to be a "historic milestone for the arts in Ireland".

An "unprecedented" scheme that would guarantee a basic income for artists is to be piloted, according to Minister for the Arts Catherine Martin.

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The scheme was announced today as part of the Government's recovery plan following the Covid-19 pandemic and will include tens of millions of euros in ongoing support.

Minister Martin said the scheme - which is a first for Ireland - was the number one recommendation from artists and the sector through the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce.

She also stated she will bring forward a proposal for the scheme, working alongside Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys.

In a statement, Martin said: “I am delighted that in today's National Economic Recovery Plan I have secured a commitment for Government to prioritise a Basic Income Guarantee Pilot Scheme for artists...This is unprecedented, and the pilot scheme will involve a significant number of artists.

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“We recognise bold steps are necessary for our invaluable and much-treasured arts community to come back stronger than ever before."

Minister Martin also confirmed the rollout of other supports for the arts and entertainment industry, including:

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  • The Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme, which is targeted at helping bands, musicians, suppliers and music businesses. This will open for applications on 9 June.
  • The €25 million Live Performance Support Scheme, for which the first allocations will be announced shortly.
  • €5 million to support live music in villages and towns across Ireland.
  • A separate €11.5 million new fund for the entertainment industry, including festivals, conferencing and large events.
  • Pilot live events for the summer, to inform a wider reopening plan for culture, entertainment and sport.

The Minister added: "Crucially, the plan specifically recognises the unique challenges that have been faced by sectors such as tourism, the events sector, Gaeltacht, sports, arts and culture and media, and sets out a package of supports that are being put into place to safeguard and stimulate these sectors.”

The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) said it was "delighted" that a basic income pilot for those working in the arts has finally come to fruition and that it looks forward to seeing and reviewing the details of the pilot in due course.

The organisation said of the scheme: "It has the potential to be a historic milestone for the arts in Ireland, a reflection of a nation that truly and authentically understands and supports the artistic process.

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"A basic income for the arts sector recognises the necessity to remove precarity from the lives of artists and arts workers of all disciplines so that they might develop, create and present their best work for the benefit of all society."