Irish Equity has welcomed the proposal to introduce a basic income scheme for workers in the Arts sector. The scheme is among a range of supports for artists and performers which are proposed in the report of the Arts and Culture Recovery Task Force and which was accepted by the Government today.

It will provide a tax-free payment for up to 55,000 arts workers and performers to cover their essential living costs during the current Pandemic. It would also allow them to earn taxable income when performance work becomes available.

Karan O Loughlin of Irish Equity said:

“Irish Equity welcomes this significant report. We have long been advocating a basic income scheme for artists and arts workers to provide them with the security required for a sustainable career. The Arts is a largely low pay sector, particularly so in the live performance area. This report recognises the uniqueness of the Arts and we now encourage the Government to act quickly on the recommendations so badly needed for the survival and development of the sector.

“We also welcome the introduction of a capital fund for local authorities to adapt and equip public spaces for cultural activities to compensate for the loss of indoor venues due to Covid-19 restrictions. The report also proposes the implementation of new copyright directives which will create a fairer value for the work of Arts workers in the future.”