- 01 Jun 21
Government party leaders today announced the National Recovery and Resilience Plan for Ireland, with artists and the events industry impacted by the news.
A pilot scheme to guarantee basic income for artists, and other supports for the events sector, were some of the measures announced as part of the government's National Economic Recovery Plan this morning.
Speaking at the press conference today, Martin said that the main objective of this plan was to “restore, and then go beyond pre-pandemic employment levels.”
Quoting Seán Lemass, An Taoiseach stated, “Social and economic progress must go hand and hand. They are not opposites. They are two sides of the same coin.”
According to the Economic Recovery Plan published today, the government will bring forward a proposal by the Arts and Culture Taskforce to create a basic income guarantee pilot scheme for artists.
The scheme will be finalised in July by Minister for the Arts Catherine Martin and will be rolled out by January next year.
Today I've secured a commitment for Government to prioritise a basic income guarantee pilot scheme for artists
Next, I'll bring forward a proposal on how it will work. pic.twitter.com/N7vhbgJruJ
— Catherine Martin TD (@cathmartingreen) June 1, 2021
Along with the Live Performance Support Scheme and the Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme, a new events sector support scheme will soon be launched.
This new scheme will support any events business that don't qualify for the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme for SMEs (small and medium enterprises), and could be worth up to €50,000 per company.
Also announced today was the phasing out plan for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, which will start to be gradually reduced from September onwards.
The PUP will be reduced by €50 increments on September 7th and November 16th, before being abolished on February 8th, 2022.
The Department of Social Protection will stop accepting new applicants from July 1st, while students will only be able to avail of the PUP until September 7th.
"Nobody expected pandemic payments to be there forever," says the Taoiseach. Thrust of Govt's policy today is to get people back into jobs, through formal education, upskilling and retraining, and employment supports
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) June 1, 2021
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will also be extended until December 31st.
The reduced 9% VAT rate for the tourism sector will be maintained until September 2022, and a host of other measures, including plans to invest in rail transport in Cork and investments in further education and training, were also announced.
According to the Tánaiste, the plan will prompt our economy “to take off like a rocket in the months ahead”.
“It’s about restoring our public finances to good health through employment, not austerity; by going for growth, not retrenchment; and aiming for a rapid recovery,” Varadkar said.
Today's announcements were welcomed by organisations within the arts and entertainment sector, with the National Campaign for the Arts (NFCA) calling the introduction of a basic income for artists a 'historic milestone'.
"Following five years of research, engagement, consultation and lobbying by NCFA committees and members, past and present, we are delighted that a Basic Income pilot for those working in the arts has finally come to fruition," a statement from the organisation reads.
"It has the potential to be an historic milestone for the arts in Ireland, a reflection of a nation that truly and authentically understands and supports the artistic process. A Basic Income for the arts sector recognises the necessity to remove precarious situations from the lives of artists and arts workers of all disciplines, so that they might develop, create and present their best work for the benefit of all society."
The Event Production Industry Covid (EPIC) Working Group also welcomed the formation of a new support scheme for the events industry, which they say has been without 'meaningful support' until now.
Epic welcomes the events sector support scheme just announced, for the SMEs in our sector who have been without any meaningful support for the last 15 months. https://t.co/Zaw0LlkU2m
— EPIC WORKING GROUP (@Epic2020_Group) June 1, 2021