Words: Ellen Kenny
From today, 2,000 artists will receive weekly payments for three years under the Basic Income for the Arts pilot.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin has announced that the first payments for the Basic Income for the Arts (BIA) pilot has begun. 2,000 recipients will receive a basic income of 325 per week euro (on a monthly basis) for three years as part of the research programme. Payments will be backdated to August 29, when the successful applicants were told they would receive Basic Income.
Artists in receipt of BIA will report on their standards of living over three years, along with 1,000 unsuccessful applicants who will also report on their standards of living. The Government will measure their standards of living against the standards of those with basic income. Through this, the pilot scheme can evaluate the need for basic income for all artists in the future.
Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to introduce a Basic Income for the Arts. The current Programme for Government also committed to introducing a pilot universal basic income scheme.
The BIA Scheme was first introduced in the latest Programme for Government. Applications opened for artists to apply for BIA in April, and closed again in May. 9,000 artists and creatives applied for the Basic Income scheme. Applications are to be selected at random and are not means-tested.
Successful applicants were planned to be chosen and informed in June, according to previous reports. However, selection of candidates was delayed to July and then delayed again in August. Previous reports feared that the scheme would not be rolled out until October. However, the Government was able to meet their third deadline and provide income to artists across Ireland.
According to the Government, the selected applicants “includes representatives from all art forms, age groups, ethnicities and counties.” The successful applicants include 707 visual artists, 584 musicians, 204 filmmakers, 184 writers, and 173 artists working in theatre. There are also 32 dancers and choreographers, 13 circus artists and 10 architects in the scheme. 54 artists selected work through the Irish language.
Basic Income for the Arts was the main recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, who also recommended increasing training supports for artists and a programme focused on the physical and mental well being of artists.
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