A universal income scheme for artists has been recommended by the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, which publishes its report today.

The taskforce was set up in September to prepare recommendations on how the arts and culture sector can adapt and recover from the unprecedented damage arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among its recommendations are a pilot universal basic income scheme for a three year period in the arts, culture, audiovisual and live performance and events sectors.

The pilot could involve a payment at the rate of the national minimum wage, and would be in lieu of an alternative primary social welfare payment. Other income could then be earned and taxed separately.

Other recommendations include education and training supports, mental health supports, social protection measures and copyright measures. 

The report has been welcomed by Minister Catherine Martin, and by groups including the National Campaign for the Arts which said it represents a further significant step towards the survival, recovery and strengthening of the arts and events industry in Ireland.

Screen Ireland said the Taskforce proved crucial in highlighting the full extent of the devastating impact of the pandemic on arts and culture, constructive in developing practical recommendations to support recovery.