Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Universal Basic Income

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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217. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number in receipt of the artists’ basic income scheme; if the workings of this scheme have been reviewed; the proposals, if any, there are to extend this scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13492/24]

Photo of Catherine MartinCatherine Martin (Dublin Rathdown, Green Party)
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The Basic Income for the Arts (BIA) pilot is a key priority for me as Minister with responsibility for arts and culture.

1983 Recipients are being paid €325 a week for three years. In addition, 978 control group members are being paid €650 per year to engage in the data collection.

This is a three year research programme with the intention of providing an evidence base to assess whether or not this type of support works for the arts. Once the research is finalised, the Government will then be in a position to assess the programme.

The research will examine the impact of a basic income style payment on artists and creative arts workers. The ambition of the scheme is that, by providing the security of a basic income, artists and creative arts workers can focus on artistic work and be in a position to increase their earnings from their creative practice as a self-employed artist/creative.

In December, I released the first reports on the initial research findings of the Basic Income pilot. Although the initial findings on the impact of the payment are positive, the reports also highlight the reality for artists and creative arts workers in Ireland at the moment. They are evidence of the challenges our artists face on a daily basis and the sacrifices they make to progress their artistic work.

I believe that the BIA pilot scheme is a once in a generation, transformational measure in the funding of the arts in Ireland. It makes a strong statement about the value that Ireland as a nation places on artistic practice both for its intrinsic value and in terms of our personal and collective wellbeing.


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