As Ireland introduces a basic income for artists to help the sector recover post-pandemic, UK organisations have called on the British government to follow suit.
The Irish government on Wednesday announced it will give a basic income of €325 (£270) a week to 2,000 artists, actors and musicians, to support the creative industries in the wake of coronavirus. As in the UK, arts and entertainment venues in the Republic of Ireland were closed for long periods due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Announcing the pilot scheme, Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “This initiative has the potential to be truly transformative in how Ireland supports the arts in the future. Ireland’s arts and culture in all its distinctiveness and variety is the well-spring of our identity as a people and is internationally recognised.
“The Basic Income for the Arts is a unique opportunity for us to support our artists and creatives in the sector and ensure that the arts thrive into the future.”
Mark Pemberton, chief executive of the Association of British Orchestras, was among those who called for a similar scheme in the UK.
“I am delighted for colleagues in Ireland but I can’t see this happening here,” he added. “Asks for more government funding in the UK have been falling on deaf ears because we have a belt-tightening Conservative government.”