'Bold steps are necessary for our invaluable and much treasured arts community': Minister for Arts to Develop Basic Income Plans by July
Minister for Arts Catherine Martin has said that she has secured a commitment from government to prioritise the basic income for artists and will develop a proposal for a pilot scheme by July.
The announcement was made yesterday (1 June) as part of the government’s post-pandemic Economic Recovery Plan 2021.
Minister Martin said:
We recognise that bold steps are necessary for our invaluable and much treasured arts community to come back stronger than ever before. I will therefore develop a proposal for the Basic Income guarantee pilot scheme by July, working with my Cabinet colleague Minister Heather Humphreys in the Department of Social Protection.
The ‘basic income guarantee pilot scheme for artists’ will be the forerunner to a more widespread UBI pilot, which was a commitment in the Programme for Government published last June. The UBI pilot was meant to take place within the lifetime of the government. Because of the pandemic, however, and the collapse of the live music sector, a UBI pilot for artists became the main recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, which published its report last November.
The government’s commitment to the basic income for artists was welcomed yesterday by the National Campaign for the Arts. A statement said: ‘It has the potential to be an historic milestone for the arts in Ireland, a reflection of a nation that truly and authentically understands and supports the artistic process.’
Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme
As well as the Basic Income for Artists, Minister Martin has also announced (2 June) a new Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) that will open for applications next Wednesday 9 June at 1pm.
The fund of €14m is available to assist businesses in the live entertainment sector that have been significantly negatively affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
This includes musicians, singers, sound engineers, lighting engineers, audio engineers, stage managers, stage technicians, sound and lighting equipment suppliers, live-streaming equipment suppliers, and full-time disc jockeys. Payments of between €2,500 and €5,000 are available. Find out more here.
For more on the Basic Income Guarantee pilot scheme announcement, see here.