Irish Government to offer “Basic Income” to Artists.

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Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD outside Government Buildings.

Artists and culture workers in Ireland will soon be eligible for basic income as the government helps the industry bounce back from the pandemic

Ireland will commit roughly €25 million ($28.3 million) to the program, which it expects to implement early this year. It will pay some 2,000 people a basic income for three years.

Arts and Culture Minister Catherine Martin is looking at “supporting electronic music”

The Irish government will pay a basic income to about 2,000 artists, musicians, actors and other entertainers for the next three years.

The move is part of the Basic Income for the Arts project, which will provide people working in creative industries with a weekly stipend.

Following a Stakeholder Forum that took place on 15th December where:

  • almost 200 artists, arts workers and representative bodies were in attendance
  • the Forum offered participants the opportunity to feed into the policy development underpinning the pilot scheme
  • a position paper will be published in January whereby written submissions can be made on the pilot scheme
  • pilot scheme will launch on 27th January 2022

In the consultation, a basic wage of €10.50 (£8.75) per hour is suggested, but the exact figure is yet to be confirmed.

The arts and entertainment sectors have suffered from long-term closures due to COVID-19 restrictions in the country – in response to this, a new “Arts and Culture task force” was established by the Irish Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media Catherine Martin.

As Minister with responsibility for arts and culture, Catherine Martin TD said:

“This is a once in a generation policy intervention, a measure that I believe will redraw the landscape for the arts for hopefully many years to come. Our culture and the arts are a fundamental expression of who we are as a nation. Our rich cultural heritage is one of our greatest assets, and our artists weave a sense of identity, creativity and belonging into the fabric of our communities. The intrinsic societal value of culture and the arts was particularly evident during the pandemic, where it provided colour, light and hope in uncertain times.”

The goal of this “task force” is to come up with ideas for how the arts can rebuild from the “unprecedented damage” of the pandemic.

Read more the Irish Government press release.