€25m for Pilot Basic Income Scheme for Artists Announced in Budget 2022

The maintenance of the Arts Council funding at €130m, and €25m for a basic income scheme for artists are among the key points for the arts and culture sector announced in this year’s Budget.

Highlights in Culture and Arts include:

  • €25m to pilot a new Basic Income Guarantee scheme for artists and arts workers. Significant sectoral stakeholder engagement will take place in the coming weeks to inform the pilot scheme, and ensure that it meets the needs of the sector. Once that engagement is complete, details will be finalised and announced, with a likely pilot launch in early 2022
  • maintaining the Arts Council allocation at the record-level €130m. This allocation will allow the Arts Council to continue to protect jobs and livelihoods of artists, and assist arts organisations through financial difficulties. With such assistance and the support of the public, the core infrastructure of the arts in Ireland has survived. And with this ongoing strong public funding in 2022, the Arts Council is empowered to play a strong role in supporting artists and arts organisations to flourish in the years ahead
  • €25m for further supports in 2022 for live entertainment as this important sector emerges from the devastating impacts of the pandemic. Supports will be put in place to assist the live entertainment industry to recover fully and return to full-scale performances. This follows from a number of schemes in 2021 to support the industry including the LPSS (Live Performance Support Scheme), MEBAS (Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme) and ESCSS (Events Sector Covid Support Scheme)
  • a €6.65m increase in funding for Screen Ireland from its initial 2021 allocation to over €36.7m. The audiovisual industry has been one of the success stories of the past 18 months, with internationally successful productions such as animated feature film ‘Wolfwalkers’ and TV Drama ‘Normal People’. Training and skills development will continue to be a strong focus in the sector. This additional Budget funding will ensure the continued success and growth of this internationally renowned industry into the future
  • increased capital allocation of €5.9m will allow Screen Ireland to bolster support for indigenous production. Key initiatives will include the encouragement of more regional production in the Irish language, the continuation of the Academies, a new funding stream to support documentary series and a further round of slate funding for Irish companies. Remaining current funding will be used to support the resumption of market activity, and enhancing the profile of Ireland as a filming destination
  • a new tax credit for the digital gaming sector (to be published as part of the Finance Bill). One of recommendations in the Audiovisual Action Plan, this measure will help support the development of the digital gaming sector. Synergies with our film and animation sectors can support quality employment
  • €5m in additional funding for the National Cultural Institutions will ensure they continue to provide high quality services to the public, and will deliver progress in the ongoing programme of investment

Speaking in the Dáil, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said that the Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media sectors have been particularly hard hit by Covid. The minister also said that while the upcoming easing of restrictions will assist the sector, he is conscious further support will be required to underpin their recovery.

Kevin Rafter, Arts Council Chair said of the announcement: “the announcement is a clear signal that the arts sector is central to the government’s national recovery plan.”


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