The three-year Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme is providing 2000 artists and creative arts workers, including 584 musicians, with €325 a week. That’s about £280.
It follows a recommendation from the Irish Government’s Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, which was set up in 2020 to explore how Ireland’s arts and culture sector could recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Universal basic income (UBI) is also a key part of the Green Party’s political platform in Ireland, where they are part of a coalition government.
Changing how musicians work and live
Universal basic income is the idea of giving a fixed amount of money to every citizen, unconditionally.
It became union policy at the MU’s 39th Biennial Delegate Conference in summer 2021. Members discussed how a UBI could support the creation process, help musicians through periods of illness, and work with other key welfare support to create a level playing field for every musician.
The motion identified a basic income for arts workers, similar to the scheme for intermittent workers in the performing arts in France and now the basic income pilot in Ireland, as a step towards that goal.
Read more in our basic income for musicians deep dive.
How can MU members help make the case for UBI?
That’s a question you can answer at Members’ Conference in October.
Register for your free Members’ Conference place, and sign up for a dedicated breakout session which will explore how young members can lead the union’s campaigning work for a basic income.
The session will be led by MU member Dr Sam Murray, who introduced the motion to make UBI union policy last year, and supported by representatives from the UBI Lab Network.
MU Members’ Conference 17-18 October, Leeds
Connect with MU members from across the UK and discuss the issues that matter to you at this year's MU Members' Conference. Sign up for one or both days and help build a more inclusive trade union and music industry. Register now to secure your free place at the event.
Book your place