News & Media

Basic Income Scheme for the arts welcome but time is of the essence

1 June 2021

Statement by Senator Marie Sherlock
Seanad Whip and Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Media, Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht

Speaking in response to the announcement of the National Economic Recovery Plan, Labour Party Arts Spokesperson Senator Marie Sherlock said:

“We welcome the confirmation from Minister Catherine Martin that Government will fund a basic income guarantee pilot scheme for the arts sector.

“This basic income pilot scheme is testament to the trojan work of the National Campaign for the Arts. In the past year, the NCFA has secured the establishment of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce and the publication of its ‘Life Worth Living’ report which confirmed the need for a sectoral basic income in October 2020.

“As Labour Party spokesperson on the Arts and on Employment Affairs, I encourage Minister Martin to now press on with the pilot scheme without delay.

“We must be conscious that time is of the essence here. Many artists, authors, actors, live event workers and other professionals within the sector rely on summer work to provide for the leaner winter months when fewer performances can go ahead.

“Throughout the past two years of recurring lockdowns, many within the arts and events sector have struggled greatly to get by. A properly-resourced basic income for the sector will be key to an equitable and sustainable recovery as events, galleries and live performances return.”