- 13 Oct 21
While many of the measures have been welcomed by the creative community and hospitality industry, including the Universal Basic Income scheme, others are concerned about the supports announced by the Government in Budget 2022...
As part of the 2022 Budget, Minister Catherine Martin has announced that €25 million would be allocated for a Universal Basic Income scheme for artists, to begin in January of next year.
Payments for the Basic Income pilot scheme will be around the figure of €325 a week.
At a press conference today announcing the main aspects of Budget 2022 for the Department of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media; Minister Martin said that the scheme would hopefully be open to applicants in January 2022. The target is that payments under the scheme should begin as early as March 2022.
“I am particularly pleased to be announcing the pilot of the new Basic Income Guarantee Scheme for artists," she said. "Grounded in on-going dialogue with the sector, 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. The measure was also the key ask from the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce.”
However, when asked by Hot Press about what measures might directly aid artists who are struggling financially at present, the position was less clear.
"We're still cognisant that supports are needed," she said. "We will continue our engagement with sectors in regards to that."
“As Minister with responsibility for Arts and Culture," she added, "I am conscious of the contribution that this sector makes to people’s everyday lives both in Ireland and abroad; this was particularly evident during the pandemic. The importance of Irish culture, Irish art and Irish productions as a whole cannot be understated in terms of its impact both internationally and at home. The Government has recognised, with this strong and imaginative package of supports announced today, that bold steps are necessary for our much treasured arts, events and cultural community to come back stronger than ever before.”
Other measures announced by Minister Martin include:
€25m for further supports in 2022 for live entertainment "as this important sector emerges from the devastating impacts of the pandemic," a statement said. "Supports will be put in place to assist the live entertainment industry to recover fully and return to full-scale performances. This follows from a number of schemes in 2021 to support the industry including the LPSS (Live Performance Support Scheme), MEBAS (Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme) and ESCSS (Events Sector Covid Support Scheme)."
Maintaining the Arts Council allocation at the record-level €130m.
"This allocation," the statement said, "will allow the Arts Council to continue to protect jobs and livelihoods of artists, and assist arts organisations through financial difficulties. With such assistance and the support of the public, the core infrastructure of the arts in Ireland has survived. And with this ongoing strong public funding in 2022, the Arts Council is empowered to play a strong role in supporting artists and arts organisations to flourish in the years ahead."
€4m to deliver a suite of initiatives proposed by the Night Time Economy (NTE) Task Force:
These initiatives include:
– A new Scheme for Pubs and Cafés to broaden NTE activity across the country
– Establishing six new pilot structures across the country to include NTE Advisors
– Later night-opening in the National Cultural Institutions with cultural programming and new pilot late-night initiatives in a selection of Institutions
– Building on the pilot late-night activities for Culture Night, develop more innovative programming for 2022 in partnership with the Arts Council and the NTE sector.
A €6.65m increase in funding for Screen Ireland from its initial 2021 allocation to over €36.7m.
"The audiovisual industry has been one of the success stories of the past 18 months," the statement says, "with internationally successful productions such as animated feature film Wolfwalkers and TV Drama Normal People. Training and skills development will continue to be a strong focus in the sector. This additional Budget funding will ensure the continued success and growth of this internationally renowned industry into the future."
"Increased capital allocation of €5.9m will allow Screen Ireland to bolster support for indigenous production. Key initiatives will include the encouragement of more regional production in the Irish language, the continuation of the Academies, a new funding stream to support documentary series and a further round of slate funding for Irish companies. Remaining current funding will be used to support the resumption of market activity, and enhancing the profile of Ireland as a filming destination."
€5m in additional funding for the National Cultural Institutions
This, the statement says, "will ensure they continue to provide high quality services to the public, and will deliver progress in the ongoing programme of investment."
€5m to support the 2022 Commemorative Programme
"The aim here is to deliver rich and diverse national and local programmes marking the significant centenaries arising in 2022," the statement says. "The ambitious Programme for the Decade of Centenaries next year will include supporting the development and delivery of:
– Major Academic Conferences to mark the Handover of Dublin Castle and the centenary of the Civil War
– Extensive exhibitions, outreach programmes and digitisation programmes in our National Cultural Institutions
– Creative partnerships such as the Artists-in Residence Programme, a new major national poetry initiative and ambitious broadcasting and arts partnerships
– Continued support and investment in our local authority partners to develop innovative and sensitive programming across the country next year, and
– Investment in the Mná100 project to highlight the role of women during this period of history."
Increased Creative Ireland Programme funding of €1.5m
"To support additional creative health and wellbeing initiatives, as well as increased resources for local authorities to deliver an enhanced Cruinniú na nÓg."
Funding of €4.6m for Culture Ireland
"To again support the international physical presentation of Irish artists worldwide, creating new work opportunities for Irish artists and reinforcing Ireland’s strong global reputation for arts and creativity."
The MEAI (Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland) said yesterday that they were "deeply concerned about supports announced in Budget 2022", calling the change in funding a "drastic cut".
Elsewhere in the press conference, Minister Martin said that "no Covid cases" had been reported from the pilot nightclub event at the Button Factory a number of weeks ago.
While she said she had still not received the full report from those involved in the nightclub trial, the Green Party deputy leader said that she hoped nightclubs would open on October 22 as planned.
"We are at over 90% vaccination rate, and I think it’s time for them to reopen," she said.
In terms of sport, Minister Jack Chambers stated that funding is in place for Ireland to host major sporting events, including the joint UK and Ireland 2030 Fifa World Cup bid.
Other budget highlights falling under the remit of the Department include:
– Over €85.6m funding allocation for Gaeltacht and Irish language sector – an increase of €7m on the 2021 allocation
– Additional funding of €1.5m for Údarás na Gaeltachta, bringing total funding to €33.3m
– Additional €1m for Gaeltacht Community and Language Supports Programme, bringing total funding to €11.2m
– Additional €2.3m for Irish Language Support Schemes outside the Gaeltacht, bringing total funding to €9.95m
– Additional €800k for Language Planning Process, bringing total funding to €5.8m
– Additional €700k for An Foras Teanga
– Funding for TG4 increased by €4.2m