STATEMENT: Costello Welcomes Announcements on the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme.

Green Party Deputy Leader and Minister for the Arts, Catherine Martin, announced today the commencement of the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme.

2,000 artists and creative arts workers were awarded grants across the country as part of a three year pilot scheme. Recipients will receive €325 per week, paid on a monthly basis, to as part of a research project on the impact of a basic income. Over 9,000 applications were made under the scheme and awardees were selected through a randomised anonymous selection process.

The 2,000 grant recipients includes representatives from all art forms, age groups, ethnicities and countries including 707 visual artists, 584 musicians, 204 artists working in film, 184 writers, 173 actors and artists working in theatre, 32 dancers and choreographers, 13 circus artists and 10 architects.  3% or 54 of those selected work through the Irish language.

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. A stakeholder consultation forum was held on the issue in December 2021 at which over 150 participants from 50 representative and resource organisations in the arts and culture sector attended. 

Green Party TD for Dublin South Central Patrick Costello, said:

I welcome the commencement of the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme. Minister Catherine Martin has led the way to trial this within the arts and it will be a significant first step in supporting those working in our Arts and Cultural sectors.”

Due to Covid we have seen a number of artists leave the sector in search of more secure work and artistic spaces struggling to remain open. This is only being further compounded by the cost for living crisis. As a country with a rich history of culture and arts, it is imperative that we support the those who wish to continue contributing to this rich history. This trial in and of itself is a historic moment for the Arts and Cultural sectors of Ireland. I look forward to the seeing the outcomes of this scheme and hope to see it further expanded in the future.