Written answers

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Christopher O'SullivanChristopher O'Sullivan (Cork South West, Fianna Fail)
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116. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the proposed supports for artists and events staff including proposals for a universal basic income; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31803/21]

Photo of Catherine MartinCatherine Martin (Dublin Rathdown, Green Party)
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I was delighted that as part of the National Economic Recovery Plan launched on June 1st, to secure a commitment from Government for a Basic Income Guarantee pilot scheme for artists.  The Government recognises that bold steps are necessary for our invaluable and much treasured arts community to come back stronger than ever before.

I recently established an Oversight Group with the remit of addressing the outstanding recommendations of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce report Life Worth Living.  The Oversight Group held its first meeting on May 27thand is being chaired by my Department and joined by representatives of the Departments of Finance, Social Protection, Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Public Expenditure and Reform as well as Enterprise, Trade and Employment.  The Directors of the Arts Council and Screen Ireland are also members and as well as a representative of the County and City Managers Association.

I have asked the Oversight Group to prioritise the examination of Recommendation 1 of the Life Worth Living report, and to examine the manner in which a Basic Income Guarantee pilot scheme for artists could be delivered. 

I have allocated €50 million to a suite of measures to assist the live performance sector including:

- €25m for the Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS 2021). I recently announced 237 successful applications for this scheme, the details of which are available on my Department’s website.  The scheme is aimed at supporting employment and wellbeing opportunities across all genres and the continued production of high quality artistic output for the public.

- €14m is being for the Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) to make a contribution to the overheads of businesses, specifically musicians and related crew. That scheme is now open for applications.

- €5 million for local authorities to support live performances this summer to animate town centres. This funding will be allocated shortly.

- €5 million being made available for a scheme of capital supports for the commercial live entertainment sector.

As part of the National Economic Recovery Plan I also secured an additional €11.5 million for a new Event Sector Covid Support Scheme, the details of which I hope to announce shortly.


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