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Photograph: BOULENGER Xavier /

Ireland is offering artists a €325-a-week basic income

More than 2,000 writers, painters and musicians will be able to claim the clash over the next three years

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

For centuries, artists have struggled to pay the bills. Being a creative might be your calling, but unless you come from money, it can be difficult to make any headway at the start of your career. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile, and now the Irish government are going to provide artists with a basic income so they can pursue their craft to a higher level.

It amounts to €325 (£270 or $350) a week, and will be available to 2,000 artists over a three-year period. It’s hoped the scheme will boost Ireland’s cultural sector, with Micheál Martin, the Irish prime minister, saying: ‘Ireland’s arts and culture in all its distinctiveness and variety is the wellspring of our identity. The Basic Income for the Arts is a unique opportunity for us to support our artists and creatives, and ensure that the arts thrive into the future.’

The scheme aims to ‘address the earnings instability that can be associated with the intermittent, periodic and often project-based nature of work in the arts’, which is a pretty thoughtful assessment of the kind of issues artists have long faced. Overall, a whopping 
€25 million (£21 million or $27 million) has been allocated to the scheme.

It’s non-competitive, which means the quality of the work doesn’t matter. And because it’s a pilot, there’s the potential for the scheme to be expanded further if it’s successful. Recipients will be chosen at random on May 12 – so if you’re an Irish painter, musician, writer or something else entirely, apply via the dedicated portal now.

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