THE PANDEMIC HAS taught us to love and value the things we miss so much even more. Since the doors closed on arts and culture events a year ago, the government has moved to provide those creative communities with a lifeline, with supports as well as paths to performances and their audiences.
As the minister overseeing these sectors, and as a former music teacher and singer, I am acutely aware of the need for robust supports to help the arts succeed and survive through this recovery.
But music, art and creative talent does not exist on thin air. Our artists are professionals with livelihoods to maintain and unfortunately, during this year-long pandemic, have suffered more than most sectors due to restrictions on gatherings, events and entertainment.
At a broad level, the Government has responded with many unprecedented measures.
Considerable additional support was secured last year, including a 5m Live Performance Support Scheme that gave thousands of days of work to hundreds of musicians, actors, crew and technicians when no other opportunities were available.
Significant funding was announced in Budget 2021, with 130 million for the Arts Council and 50 million more for enhanced live performance support. Moreover, tens of millions of euro has helped those impacted in culture and events through various wage subsidy schemes.
The Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce which I set up to look at solutions published a report last November in which it recommended a Universal Basic Income (UBI) pilot targeted at the arts.
Their report, A Life Worth Living, outlines a mechanism for a basic income pilot for the sector, that would be a scalable initiative and envisioned to last a period of three years, in order to allow for a detailed examination of the impact.
A trial for Universal Basic Income
In addition, there is an existing commitment in the Programme for Government to initiate a trial UBI within the lifetime of this coalition government. That commitment will be informed by a review of other international models.
That guarantee was secured by the Green Party during coalition negotiations last year, which I personally oversaw as deputy leader. UBI has also been a core policy of the Green Party for many years.
So what is the rationale for introducing this measure for the arts sector and how could it work?
Many creative practitioners and allied workers in the sectors are freelance, moving frequently between self-employment, PAYE employment and periods of no work at all. In its 2018 survey, Theatre Forum reported that 30% of artists and creative practitioners in the performing arts earned less than the National Minimum Wage. The pattern of insecure and low-paid work is exacerbated by uncertainties arising from the necessary health restrictions which have put a straight-jacket around the industry.
A basic income for the arts would help mitigate the existential threat to this sector, minimising loss of skills and contribute to its gradual regrowth, with follow-on economic benefits. UBI is proven to encourage entrepreneurship and enhanced creativity as recipients arent forced to engage in alternative work to cover basic living costs.
A basic income support is an unconditional state payment that each citizen receives. The arts taskforce recommended that this pilot basic scheme would be in lieu of alternative primary welfare payments for those who work in the arts. Recipients could also take on creative work and earn additional taxable income on top of it.
Why should the arts sector get this support?
I believe the arts sector represents an appropriate area for such a pilot scheme for many reasons. It is characterised by low, precarious and often seasonal income; artistic and creative work is also intrinsically valuable to society; it includes a broad mix of employment types and it has also been chosen for UBI pilots in other jurisdictions.
UBI pilots have been trialled in Finland, Germany and Canada. Since 1936 France has acknowledged that working in the arts can be precarious and subject to long, fallow periods, by supporting its artists through Lintermittent du spectacle. This is a scheme where artists who work up to 507 hours over a 12-month period can sign up for specific unemployment assistance that is paid to them when they are in between projects.
A universal basic income is supported by Social Justice Ireland and other political parties. And while previous governments have mulled over this provision, support for such a scheme has grown during the pandemic because of the devastating nature of restrictions on the creative sector. The Joint Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht has also expressed its support for such a scheme.
I have spoken to Oireachtas colleagues about the need to see enthusiasm across the three-party coalition government for a basic income for artists.
My role is to advocate for it strongly. That is what I am doing. And the arts community are aware of that. Moreover, my message to Oireachtas colleagues in support of this measure has been that they are very much pushing an open door with me when it comes to the introduction of UBI in Ireland.
But action on this will not come solely from my Department. Like many financial supports before and during the pandemic, a wider cohort in government must assess the strengths and weaknesses of any such scheme.
Artwork IS work
Furthermore, the Programme for Government states that this will ultimately be a matter for consideration by the Low Pay Commission that artwork is indeed work. And for tens of thousands of people in this country. And in various forms.
#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal
Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you
French painter Henri Matisse once commented that creativity takes courage. How right he was.
And during a pandemic, challenges in creating should be appreciated and supported even more. The Government has strived to do this and is committed to helping this sector recover.
We cant lose our artists, musicians and creators. Im determined to see them flourish. I will continue to talk to my colleagues about the benefits of a basic income system for artists and creators.
In the meantime, the government will continue to ensure arts, culture and entertainment workers are supported during this crisis in order to sustain Irelands treasured creativity community for generations to come.
Catherine Martin is Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
SUSPENDED ANIMATION Project
Through Noteworthy, we want to look at a new landscape for all types of creatives after the pandemic; the supports they need, the value we put on art as a society and stories from artists themselves.
Heres how to support this proposal>
Read more from the original source:
- Clubhouse promises its accelerator participants either brand deals or $5K per month during the program - TechCrunch - March 16th, 2021
- Agenda: Is Universal Basic Income the key to tackling care leaver poverty? - HeraldScotland - March 7th, 2021
- Get creative to help artists through pandemic - The Guardian - February 16th, 2021
- The economy can't guarantee a job. It can guarantee a liveable income for other work - The Conversation AU - January 25th, 2021
- Donald Trump and Richard Nixon: 10 comparisons the Internet made to show POTUS is '10X worse' - MEAWW - January 15th, 2021
- Basic income for all: Has the Covid crisis given us a new economic model? - The Irish Times - November 29th, 2020
- Universal basic income has time come for it? Debate intensifies in pandemic - WRAL Tech Wire - November 29th, 2020
- We Need Universal Basic Income And We Need It Now - Scary Mommy - August 30th, 2020
- Prepare for the irreversible rise of non-profit activity everywhere - Livemint - August 26th, 2020
- Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day - Bloomberg - August 26th, 2020
- In the wake of Covid-19, time to consider basic income: Senate report - Investment Executive - July 15th, 2020
- COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Tuesday, July 14 - CBC.ca - July 15th, 2020
- COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Monday, July 13 - CBC.ca - July 15th, 2020
- COVID illuminates global inequalities in workers' rights and working conditions - University of Birmingham - June 24th, 2020
- Why a Universal Basic Income is the solution to inequity - Women's Agenda - June 24th, 2020
- Crypto Experts Reveal Thoughts: How Will Bitcoin Perform After the COVID-19 Crisis Has Passed? - Yahoo Finance - June 24th, 2020
- A universal basic income is less attractive if it needs to be paid for - American Enterprise Institute - June 17th, 2020
- KAREN FOSTER: Pandemic pay premium for grocery store employees a flash in the pan - TheChronicleHerald.ca - June 17th, 2020
- COVID-19: UN agencies warn against rising hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean - UN News - June 17th, 2020
- Why recovery needs to have children at its centre - Social Europe - June 17th, 2020
- Basic Income activism in the United States | BIEN - Basic Income News - June 6th, 2020
- When All Men Are Paid for Existing: Universal Basic Income Has Arrived - National Review - June 6th, 2020
- Local funds model the racial reckoning and renewal central to the COVID recovery - ImpactAlpha - June 6th, 2020
- National Security at the United Nations This Week (May 8-15) - Just Security - May 15th, 2020
- What is Basic Income? | Guaranteed Universal Basic Income - May 11th, 2020
- Basic Income Guarantee | Universal | UBI - May 11th, 2020
- Coronavirus is a crisis for the developing world, but here's why it needn't be a catastrophe - The Guardian - May 11th, 2020
- Universal Basic Income: Andrew Yang Was Pushing for It Long Before Coronavirus Pandemic - PopCulture.com - May 11th, 2020
- Starvation in the time of Corona: momentum for the Universal Basic Dividend - DiEM25 - May 11th, 2020
- Is this the beginning of a Universal Basic Income? - Yahoo Finance Australia - April 11th, 2020
- How the Pandemic Could Shape the Economy In the Future - TheStreet - April 11th, 2020
- After the pandemic, will there be a new status quo? - The Corner Economic - April 11th, 2020
- UK workers hit by the economic pain of coronavirus need an income guarantee - The Guardian - April 9th, 2020
- The complexities of a universal basic income - Knowable Magazine - April 9th, 2020
- How Are We Going to Pay for It? - Common Dreams - April 9th, 2020
- We're all socialists now | The Interpreter - The Interpreter - April 9th, 2020
- Out of the coronavirus crisis, a new kind of Britain must be born - The Guardian - April 9th, 2020
- Michael Clifford: Is it now time to give some real thought to Universal Basic Income in Ireland? - Irish Examiner - April 9th, 2020
- COVID-19 kicks over the economy - rabble.ca - April 9th, 2020
- Covid-19 Unmasks the Privilege of Isolation in Rio de Janeiro and All Brazil - RioOnWatch - April 9th, 2020
- How WhatsApp is making it more expensive to spread misinformation - The Verge - April 9th, 2020
- For artists and gig workers, expanded emergency benefit access is encouraging but worries about the post-COVID-19 future remain - Toronto Star - April 9th, 2020
- Will There Be a New Status Quo After COVID-19? - Qrius - April 9th, 2020
- Common Arguments Against Basic Income Don't apply to the Emergency BI - Basic Income News - March 31st, 2020
- I've lived through plenty of social shocks this time we must learn the lessons - The Guardian - March 31st, 2020
- How a Basic Income And Jobs Guarantee Can Save The Economy From Coronavirus - The National Interest - March 26th, 2020
- Draghi: we face a war against coronavirus and must mobilise accordingly | Free to read - Financial Times - March 26th, 2020
- Lockdown to fight coronavirus is going to hit most Indian workers very hard - Livemint - March 26th, 2020
- Universal basic income: what is it, how does it work and could it help fight the coronavirus crisis? - Telegraph.co.uk - March 24th, 2020
- It's time to move mountains to protect people we need universal basic income - The Guardian - March 24th, 2020
- Italy: Urgent petition in time of Corona Virus: Expanding the Citizen's Income Scheme! If Not Now, When? - Basic Income News - March 24th, 2020
- Coronavirus: Iain Duncan Smith says dont bring in universal basic income during pandemic as it would be disincentive to work - The Independent - March 24th, 2020
- Solidarity Economicsfor the Coronavirus Crisis and Beyond - The American Prospect - March 24th, 2020
- Trump's right: Congress should give Americans $1,000 right now to fight the coronavirus recession - The Conversation US - March 24th, 2020
- Covid-19s Economic Pain Is Universal. But Relief? Depends on Where You Live. - The New York Times - March 24th, 2020
- Who the government's coronavirus economic measures leave behind - Left Foot Forward - March 24th, 2020
- COVID-19 outbreak brings attention back to informal sector - Down To Earth Magazine - March 24th, 2020
- Coronavirus, Surveillance And The Redefinition Of The Social Contract - Forbes - March 24th, 2020
- Commentary: We need food, medicine and safety not tax cuts and corporate bailouts to face coronavirus - The Daily World - March 24th, 2020
- New Zealand Orders Month-Long Lockdown To Halt Spread Of Coronavirus - International Business Times - March 24th, 2020
- All the Coronavirus Tribes You've Met During the Outbreak - VICE - March 24th, 2020
- Fiscal Policies to Protect People During the Coronavirus Outbreak - International Monetary Fund - March 5th, 2020
- Column: Socialism is not the American way | Opinion - Duncan Banner - February 29th, 2020
- P.E.I. Premier Dennis King talks climate, economy and highs and lows in Part 2 of his year-end interview with The Guardian - The Journal Pioneer - January 3rd, 2020
- We need to test whether our millions in education aid is actually working - Financial Post - January 3rd, 2020
- A modern method of cutting poverty: Investigating what Universal Basic Income will mean for Northern families - Mancunian Matters - December 13th, 2019
- The Guardian view on Finlands new PM: a different type of leadership - The Guardian - December 13th, 2019
- Want to Retire in Harmony? Make Sure All Parts of Your Plan Are in Sync - Kiplinger's Personal Finance - December 13th, 2019
- Broadband for All could revolutionize wifi in UK, if it's possible - Inverse - November 30th, 2019
- California higher education hangs in the balance as UC, Cal State search for new leaders - Los Angeles Times - November 30th, 2019
- Food shopping at dollar stores - Brantford Expositor - August 22nd, 2017
- How Cities Can Rebuild the Social Safety Net - CityLab - August 20th, 2017
- Universal Basic Infrastructure to help decrease India's poverty - Economic Times - August 15th, 2017
- New Zealand Fabians host Basic Income panel - Basic Income News - August 14th, 2017
- Universal basic income proponent to speak in Boise - Idaho Press-Tribune - August 8th, 2017
- Is a Well-Paying Job the next Entitlement Program? - Big Think (blog) - August 6th, 2017
- DON PRIDMORE: Be careful what you wish for... - The Guardian - August 1st, 2017
- EDITORIAL: Island needs dollars, not data, to cope with poverty - The Guardian - July 27th, 2017
- Peterborough businesses claim $15 minimum wage hike could result in job cuts - Globalnews.ca - July 26th, 2017
- 9news.com | Should all Americans receive a guaranteed income? - 9NEWS.com - July 26th, 2017