Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Questions (420, 422, 423, 424, 426)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

420. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason a tendering process is necessary to engage with stakeholders on the pilot basic income for artists; and the reason this cannot be managed in-house by her Department given that the plan for the world café event is already outlined in detail in her Department’s tender. [50967/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

422. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if potential applicants to the tender for facilitating stakeholder engagement on the pilot basic income for artists were informed of the tender by anyone in her Department either before or independently of the notice uploaded to the website of her Department and the sharing of the link on the social media account of her Department (details supplied) on which reference to the basic income pilot was not highlighted in the notification. [50969/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

423. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media her views on whether the decision to put the facilitation of stakeholder engagement on the objectives and eligibility criteria for the pilot basic income for artists out to tender be taken to mean that her Department has not developed draft objectives or eligibility criteria over the 11 months since the scheme was proposed in the report of the arts and culture recovery taskforce or prior to allocating €25 million towards the scheme in budget 2022. [50970/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

424. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason that less than two days were given between the announcement of €25 million being allocated to the pilot basic income for artists in budget 2022 and the deadline for applications for the tender to facilitate stakeholder analysis on the pilot basic income for artists; and her views on whether the announcement greatly alters the nature and urgency of the stakeholder engagement for tender. [50971/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

426. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason there is no mention included in the tender for stakeholder engagement on the development of the pilot basic income for artists to ensuring engagement with economists, experts on arts funding in Ireland and abroad, experts on basic income proposals or organisations concerned with workers’ rights and social justice in the development of the scheme; and if her Department engaged with any of these groups prior to announcing €25 million for the scheme in budget 2022. [50973/21]

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Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 420, 422, 423, 424 and 426 together.

I was particularly pleased to announce €25m for the pilot Basic Income Guarantee Scheme for artists as part of Budget 2022. This scheme will bring new life and support to the arts and culture sector, and I hope it will provide an important legacy for our artists, after the very difficult circumstances they have endured over the last year and a half.

This is a major policy intervention and is grounded in on-going dialogue with the sector. The upcoming stakeholder forum is a continuation of the engagement myself and my officials have had with the sector on this matter.

The facilitation of 'World Café Method' style events is normally carried out by experienced professional communications experts and facilitators, familiar with the methodology, to ensure that the outputs of the forum, which will be large in scale, are effective and contribute to the ongoing development of this policy.

I can assure the Deputy that economic and evaluation skills are central to the manner in which policy is developed in my Department. The team lead on the pilot scheme is an economist and member of IGEES (Irish Government Economic Evaluation Service) and my Department's Strategic Policy Unit, which is staffed with six members of IGEES, are also assisting with the policy development for the pilot scheme. My officials have been engaged in extensive policy development to bring this policy intervention to fruition in conjunction with colleagues on the Oversight Group which includes the Departments of Finance, Social Protection, Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Public Expenditure and Reform, as well as Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The Directors of the Arts Council and Screen Ireland are also members alongside a representative of the County and City Managers Association.

As the Deputy will be aware, the pilot basic income guarantee scheme was a key recommendation from the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce. I established an Oversight Group, which includes the Arts Council and Screen Ireland, to appraise the recommendations in the Life Worth Living report.

I asked the Group to prioritise the basic income guarantee pilot and the Oversight Group has met 8 times. To assist in these discussions, the Oversight Group established a subcommittee to focus solely on the progression of the recommendation for the basic income pilot scheme. This sub-committee met 9 times over the summer months to develop a number of options that could fulfil the requirements as set out in the Life Worth Living report.

A number of organisations have given presentations to the Oversight Committee in order to inform their considerations these include:

- the NCFA (the National Campaign for the Arts)

- Social Justice Ireland

- Praxis – the Artists Union

- Dr Stephen Kinsella – Economist in University Limerick and Niamh NicGhabhann & Annmarie Ryan who had done research in the area of artist basic income

- In addition, Equity the actors union are due to present to the group this week.

The Request for Tender (RFT) clearly sets out that the facilitation relates to the basic income guarantee pilot for artists. The RFT was published on my Department's website, shared via social media as well as being sent to a number of companies that specialise in this type of facilitation.

I am satisfied that a professional facilitator will add value to the stakeholder forum and ensure that the voices of artists, arts sector representative bodies and resource organisations will be heard on this important matter.

Question No. 421 answered with Question No. 410.
Question No. 422 answered with Question No. 420.
Question No. 423 answered with Question No. 420.
Question No. 424 answered with Question No. 420.
Question No. 425 answered with Question No. 410.
Question No. 426 answered with Question No. 420.