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Budget 2022: Basic income guarantee for artists & €25 million for live entertainment announced

Budget 2022: Basic income guarantee for artists & €25 million for live entertainment announced

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The government has revealed its 2022 Budget today and the topline are all now listed here, but here’s the overview in terms of arts and culture:

  • Arts Council funding to remain at €130 million in 2022.
  • €25 million is to be allocated to the 3-year Basic Income Guarantee Pilot scheme, which will provide a living wage to artists separate to their artist income. Due to start next year.
  • €25 million is allocated towards live entertainment. Mentions LPSS, MEBAS and ESCSS this year but doesn’t commit to continuing those schemes for next year.
  • Under tourism – €7 million to support domestic markets and festivals.
  • Over €60 million to extend the commercial rates waiver for quarter four targeted at the hospitality, arts and certain tourism related sectors
  • As part of the Department of Justice’s budget, a proposal to waive all fees associated with Special Exemption Orders (SEOs) for nightclubs and late bars will mean no €410 plus solicitor’s fees just to open past regular closing time.
  • €5m in additional funding for the National Cultural Institutions.
  • €4m to deliver a suite of initiatives proposed by the Night Time Economy (NTE) Task Force:
  • A new Scheme for Pubs and Cafés to broaden NTE activity across the country.
  • Establishing 6 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.
  • 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.

More precise details on all of the above operates along with funding for Culture Ireland and Creative Ireland will be revealed tomorrow Minister Catherine Martin TD and Minister of State Jack Chambers TD in a Budget 2022 Press Conference at government buildings.

As for the waiver of Special Exemption Orders, this is fairly big news, and long needed beyond 2021. If Nightclubs don’t have to pay SEOs of €410 plus solicitors fees per night, we could see a wider range of non-commercial music take place later as one outcome. More than that the old system was outdated. It was one of the recommendations of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce Report.


The National Campaign for the Arts had asked for €150 million for Arts Council funding in 2022 in its pre-Budget submission, and the organisation broadly welcome the measures it today’s budget.

Here’s their statement in full:


National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) has welcomed the budget measures announced by Ministers Donohoe and McGrath today. The proposed Basic Income Guarantee Pilot for artists and arts workers is something we have long fought for and we are delighted to see this historic Government commitment to it in Budget 2022. We look forward to seeing the key details of the scheme as they emerge.

Continued investment in arts & culture will be vital in ensuring the sector survives the challenges of the pandemic and begins to build for a sustainable future. We welcome the 2022 investment of €130 million in the Arts Council which is the key to directly funding art, artists and arts organisations. This sustained investment is a first step forward in order to address the damage inflicted during a decade of cuts before the pandemic.

We also welcome funding to Culture Ireland, alongside the continuation of Creative Ireland which are essential elements of the arts infrastructure. We look forward to engaging with Minister Martin and her department on the other elements of our pre-Budget submission including insurance and taxation reform, research and an action plan which will address the systemic barriers which prevent all artists from active and equal participation in cultural life and work.

The NCFA Steering Committee wishes to acknowledge the work of Minister Martin and her Department officials, who clearly understand and value the arts and have been brave and vocal allies of the arts community throughout the pandemic.

The Steering Committee also want to acknowledge the contributions of NCFA founders and steering committee members over the years and the work of all those across the nation who have worked so hard to create a unified voice of the arts, coming together to ensure the value of the arts is understood, cherished and nurtured to safeguard our artistic and cultural legacy for future generations.