Catherine Martin, Ireland’s Minister for Tourism, Culture, the Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, launched an online consultation on January 6 to seek opinions on the creation of a Basic Income Plan for a number of artists from around the country. The program, which Martin described as a “one-time political intervention in a generation,” is intended to help those working in the arts, culture, audiovisual and performing arts and events that have suffered economically. of global Covid. The -19 crisis erupted in the country.
The program will cover two thousand arts and cultural workers over a three-year period. The government has earmarked 25 million euros ($ 28.3 million) for the plan, which is expected to go into effect later this winter. The online consultation runs until January 27 and follows a report from a task force brought together by Martin last year to tackle the issue of how best to help people in the cultural sector. The main recommendation of the committee was the creation of a pilot Basic Income program that would grant selected artists € 10.50 ($ 11.90) per hour.
The eligibility and process for selecting recipients is currently in play. The ministry said there will be no means test and the process will be non-competitive. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available income scholarships, the selection will be random. At present, it is proposed that payments be made on a weekly basis with the total income yet to be determined.
Martin stressed the importance of helping artists to continue their work. “The Minister recognizes the value this sector brings to all Irish citizens,” her office said in a statement. “The importance of Irish culture, Irish art and Irish productions as a whole cannot be underestimated – they contribute to individual and societal well-being, as well as to Ireland’s reputation as a than a country with a rich cultural history and production. “
In launching a universal basic income program for artists, Ireland joins San Francisco, which has a similar, albeit shorter, initiative in 2020.