The Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce report Life Worth Living, was published in November 2020 and made ten recommendations for the sector. The recommendations included a proposal to pilot a basic income scheme for a three-year period in the arts, culture, audiovisual and live performance and events sectors.
I was delighted that as part of the National Economic Recovery Plan launched on June 1st, I secured agreement from Government for a Basic Income Guarantee pilot scheme for artists. The Government recognises that bold steps are necessary for our invaluable and much treasured arts community to come back stronger than ever before.
I have recently established an Oversight Group with the remit of addressing the outstanding recommendations of the Life Worth Living report. The membership of the Group is drawn from Departments and Agencies which have the ability and wherewithal to make appropriate progress on the outstanding recommendations, including the Basic Income Guarantee pilot. The Oversight Group held its first meeting on May 27th and is being chaired by my Department and joined by representatives of the Departments of Finance, Social Protection, Public Expenditure and Reform as well as Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The Directors of the Arts Council and Screen Ireland are also members and as well as a representative of the County and City Managers' Association.
I have asked the Oversight Group to prioritise the manner in which a Basic Income Guarantee pilot scheme for artists could be delivered. As work on the pilot scheme is just getting underway it is too early to be definitive about the exact nature of the pilot scheme at this point. The Oversight Group is expected to report to me by the end of July.