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Basic Income for the Arts

The scheme is now CLOSED for applications.

The application portal closed at 1pm on Thursday 12th May 2022.

The BIA team will continue to contact applicants where clarification or further information is needed after the deadline, but only for applications which have been received by the deadline.

For information on the scheme, please read the guidelines for applicants and, if you have specific queries, you may email

Answers to some common questions are available here: Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme: Your questions answered

BIA Appeals Process

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BIA Appeals Process

BIA Appeals Process


The overarching objective of the scheme is to address the earnings instability that can be associated with the intermittent, periodic, and often project-based nature of work in the arts. The scheme will research the impact on artists and creative arts workers creative practice of providing the security of a basic income, thereby reducing income precarity.

The Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme will run over a 3-year period (2022 – 2025).

Its intention is to research the impact a basic income would have on artists and creatives work patterns by providing the opportunity to focus on their practice, and to minimise the loss of skills from the arts as a result of the pandemic and to contribute to the sectors gradual regrowth post pandemic.

The delivery of the pilot is a key priority for Minister Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, to underpin the recovery in the arts and culture sector and provide much needed certainty to the artists and creatives who choose to avail of the pilot scheme.

The pilot scheme will be open to eligible artists and creative arts sector workers.

It is important to note that that the Basic Income for the Arts is not a Universal Basic Income.

This is a sectoral intervention to support practicing artists and creative arts workers to focus on their creative practice. This policy is separate to the Universal Basic income as outlined in the Programme for Government. The Programme for Government: Our Shared Future commits to the introduction of a universal basic income pilot in the lifetime of the government.

Background to the BIA pilot scheme

The Arts and Culture Taskforce, established in September 2020, was tasked by Minister Martin with producing a report to include a set of recommendations on how best the arts and culture sector could adapt and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number 1 recommendation from the taskforce report Life Worth Living Report was to pilot a Basic Income scheme for a three-year period in the in the arts, culture, audio-visual and live performance and events sectors.

As part of the National Economic Recovery Plan launched on 1 June 2021, Minister Martin secured a commitment from Government for a Basic Income Pilot Scheme for artists.

The Minister allocated €25 million as part of Budget 2022 to provide for the launch of the pilot scheme.

Scheme development

Throughout 2021, the department engaged in a policy development process which has involved discussions with the Life Worth Living Oversight Group, engaging with sectoral stakeholders, convening an inter-departmental working group to assess challenges, and reviewing international research and best practice. The department used this work to inform its proposal for a pilot Basic Income for the Arts (BIA).

Stakeholder engagement has been core to the policy development process and this has included a stakeholder forum on 15 December 2021, where over 150 participants from 50 artists and arts workers resource and representative bodies came together to discuss the proposal.

A public consultation took place throughout the month of January 2022. The purpose of the consultation was to ensure that the general public, artists, and those working in the arts and culture sector have the opportunity to contribute to policy development for the pilot scheme.