Today, Arts Minister Catherine Martin published the first year’s impact assessment of the Basic Income for the Arts pilot plan, stating that she was routinely contacted by artists participating in the initiative, and their response was “unfailingly positive”.

Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media, spoke about the Basic Income for the Arts (BIA) pilot scheme, refereeing to its “positive impacts for those receiving the payment materialised fairly quickly within the first six months of the pilot” during a special Status of the Artist conference at the Alex Hotel in Dublin today.

According to a recent survey, artists who get a basic income of €325 per week from the state may invest more time and money in their art while working fewer hours outside of their creative sector to support their income.

“Last year the European Parliament adopted a proposal for an EU framework to improve the living and working conditions for cultural and creative workers. I am proud that Ireland is leading the way in terms of research into supports that can make the pursuit of a creative career possible. I know from many engagements with international colleagues that the world is watching what we are doing here in Ireland.”

As part of the project, 2,000 qualifying artists and creative arts professionals were chosen at random from over 9,000 applications to earn €325 per week. This experimental project was implemented for an initial three-year term.

An additional 1,000 applicants were part of the “control” group. They do not get a weekly payment, but both the control group and the recipients were requested to contribute data to the Department of Arts to assist in establishing the scheme’s impact.

“The research shows that positive impacts for those receiving the payment materialised fairly quickly within the first six months of the pilot. A year on, the BIA payment is having a consistent, positive impact across almost all indicators; affecting practice development, sectoral retention, well-being, and deprivation.”

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