Arts Minister welcomes report which proposes universal basic income for artists

Arts Minister Welcomes Report Which Proposes Universal Basic Income For Artists
Photo: Niall Carson/PA Images
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Kenneth Fox

The Minister for Arts and Culture, Catherine Martin has welcomed a new report from the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, which outlines proposals for universal basic income for artists.

The Life Worth Living report sets out a number of proposals which look to support artists of all disciplines who have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Broadly speaking these proposals fall under a number of categories which include:

  •  Taxation and financial provision measures.
  •  Education and training supports.
  •  Technology supports.
  •  Mental health supports.
  •  Social protection measures.
  •  Copyright measures.

The taskforce said it has been widely acknowledged that the impact of Covid-19 on the arts and culture sector has been more detrimental, and will last longer, than in nearly any other sector. It noted that almost all activity has stopped and it is likely that for many parts of the sector it will be among the last to restart.

The taskforce said it has now completed its work and its Chairperson, Ms. Clare Duignan, submitted the report to the Minister Martin, which was noted by Government earlier today.

The report includes details of how to retain artists and the wider creative, technical, production workforce, with their skills and talent, so that there are still arts, culture and entertainment events for Irish audiences and foreign visitors to enjoy in better times.

It also includes recommendations on policy and planning, income, taxation and financial provision, education and training, technology supports; mental health, social protection, community development, social inclusion as well as around copyright.


Commenting on the report, Catherine Martin said: “I very much welcome the report “Life worth Living' submitted by the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce and thank each and every member of the Taskforce for their time, expertise and commitment in this hugely difficult time.

Universal basic income

“I met with the taskforce at the start of its work and was struck both by the members’ dedication and also the seriousness of the situation facing the Arts and Culture sector.”

She said the taskforce has produced a set of recommendations on how best the arts and culture sector can adapt and recover from the unprecedented damage arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sector includes the arts, culture, the audio visual industry, live entertainment and the live events industry.

As the report suggests the plan is to pilot a universal basic income scheme for a three-year period in the arts, culture, audiovisual and live performance and events sectors.
It states that universal basic income is defined as an unconditional state payment that each citizen receives. The payment is designed to provide enough to cover the basic cost of living and provide a modicum of financial security.

All other income would then be earned separately and subject to taxation.

The report also outlines how the scheme should be ‘opt in’ and other workers from these sectors who do not opt in can be used as a control group against which to measure the pilot.

You can view the entire report from the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce here.

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