The Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme will run over a 3-year period (2022 – 2025).

It is described as a transformative initiative to support the arts and creative practice with payments of €325 per week to be made to 2,000 artists and creative arts workers.

A basic income for the arts was the number one recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce Life Worth Living Report which was set up by Minister Catherine Martin in 2020 to examine how the sector could adapt and recover from the unprecedented damage arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key points of the scheme – Overall, BIA aims to:

  • pilot a sector specific support for the arts, in the form of a basic income, to recognise the value of time spent on creative practice and for arts workers who make a key contribution to the creative production process;
  • enable artists and creative arts workers to focus on artistic production/practice without having to enter into employment in other sectors to sustain themselves;
    support participants to develop their practice by providing income during periods when practice and portfolio are being developed;
  • give recognition to the value of the arts and the role of creative practice in Irish society; and minimise the loss of skill and experience from the arts sector
  • 2,000 recipients will be randomly selected from the pool of eligible applicants.

They will receive the payment – set at €325 per week – paid on a monthly basis.

It will be a non-competitive process, therefore once a person satisfies the eligibility criteria they will be included in a randomised selection process.

Unsuccessful but eligible applicants will be invited to participate in a control group to facilitate a comprehensive ex post appraisal of the pilot. This will help evaluate the impact of the payment by comparing outcome for those who received the payment with a group of peers who were not paid the basic income over the same period.

Similar to most other income the payment will be taxable but the amount of taxation paid will depend on an individual’s personal circumstances.

Recipients of the Basic Income are entitled to earn additional income, which would also be reckonable for the purposes of income tax.

Eligibility will be based on the definition of the arts as contained in the Arts Act 2003; ““arts” means any creative or interpretative expression (whether traditional or contemporary) in whatever form, and includes, in particular, visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture, and includes any medium when used for those purposes”.

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