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Music / June 1, 2021

Irish artists to be granted Basic Income

Photo by Rezli on Unsplash
Music / June 1, 2021

Irish artists to be granted Basic Income

Words: Dylan Murphy

The move comes as part of a pilot scheme announced in the Economic Recovery Plan 2021 which was revealed today.

After five years of lobbying, discussions, consultation from the National Campaign For The Arts (NCFA) and one of the most devastating years in living memory for the music and arts community a Basic Income pilot scheme is to be introduced in Ireland.

In a statement today, the NCFA welcomed the move as it is a “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.”

Minister Martin said:

“This was the number one recommendation from artists and the sector through the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce Report-Life Worth Living.  It is an unprecedented move and the pilot scheme will involve a significant number of artists.”

She added:

“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”.

Read the full statement below and view the full Economic Recovery Plan at the bottom:

Following five years of research, engagement, consultation and lobbying by NCFA committees and members, past and present, we are delighted that a Basic Income pilot for those working in the arts has finally come to fruition. 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. 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.

We welcome today’s announcement in the Economic Recovery Plan 2021 that Government will bring forward a proposal stemming from a key recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce for a Basic Income pilot scheme for Artists. NCFA looks forward to seeing and reviewing the details of the pilot in due course. We commit to working to ensure that all arts workers in all sectors of the arts can avail of this important scheme and that representation is made for our entire community.

We welcome this important step and congratulate Minister Catherine Martin and Minister Heather Humphreys, along with their Department officials, for their commitment and determination in getting to this point. There is much work to be done to ensure the process is just, inclusive, accessible and viable and we urge all involved to ensure that the implementation of this pilot firmly puts the artist and the arts worker at the heart of the matter.

Over the last five years we have consulted and worked with many partners who have been leading on this issue including Social Justice Ireland and Basic Income Ireland. We congratulate those colleagues on the Arts & Culture Recovery Taskforce who worked on the development of the Basic Income elements of the recommendation. We also thank all the political parties, both Government and opposition, who accepted NCFA invitations to contribute, comment and suggest and we look forward to continuing those dialogues to ensure that all voices are heard. We thank all the international organisations, and colleagues and peers outside of Ireland, who helped us to shape our advocacy on behalf of the thousands of Irish artists and arts workers who should benefit from this scheme. 

“After five years of lobbying, by NCFA members past and present, myself and the steering committee are thrilled to see a Basic Income pilot for artists and arts workers included in the Economic Recovery Plan 2021. We look forward to seeing the details of the pilot as they emerge and continuing to input and advocate for our community.” – Angela Dorgan, Chair NCFA

Click here to read the full Economic Recovery Plan 2021.

This article was updated to remove the word ‘Universal’.