The Irish government is offering a €325 weekly basic income trial for artists which will last for three years. As part of the trial 2,000 artists will be randomly selected from all of the applicants. The government definition of artists is broad and covers any creative or interpretative expression including; visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture.
The trial hopes to minimise the loss of skill and experience from the arts sector whilst also recognising the value that artists contributes to society. In addition, the trial is aiming to prove that a basic income enables artists to focus on projects without their projects being impacted from the stress of needing to look for work in other sectors to sustain them. Artists who receive the payment are also free to obtain additional work if they please without affecting the payment, however the payment is taxed so additional work may change their tax rate.
Artists who apply who are not one of the randomly selected to receive the payment will be offered the opportunity to join a control group study to compare their outcomes vs people who receive the payment.
Coalition government delivers on social agenda
The policy was announced by Ireland’s Minster for the Arts Catherine Martin who is a member of Ireland’s Green Party. The Green party are one of three parties in a coalition government in Ireland. When launching the policy Martin said,
“I believe that this scheme is the start of a fundamental change in the way Ireland supports and recognises her artists and arts community.”
Martin went on to say,
“This pilot scheme represents a groundbreaking opportunity for us to explore how the role of the artist in Irish society can be protected and nurtured so we can continue to be inspired by great art for generations to come.”
Check out the government’s website for more information or to apply for the trial.