Ireland’s basic income for artists

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Making ends meet is a struggle for many artists, whose precarious financial position has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Does Ireland have an answer? 

This week, its government announced plans for a basic income for people working in the arts. Details of the €25m (£21.2m) initiative are still being thrashed out, but the three-year scheme is expected to offer around €325 (£275) per week to 2,000 creatives. Applications for the pilot will open in January 2022, ahead of a rollout next spring. 

Announcing the initiative, Ireland’s minister for arts, Catherine Martin, said: “Bold steps are necessary for our much treasured arts, events and cultural community to come back stronger than ever before.” 

Members of the Irish rock band Pillow Queens (pictured, left) were among those welcoming the initiative. In an interview with the Irish Times, singer Sarah Corcoran revealed how her bandmates had to juggle live performances with jobs at Tesco. “The basic income pilot scheme is a complete gamechanger for us,” she said.