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New Weekly Basic Income for Artists

  • 21-09-2022 4:30pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭ donaghs

    I saw this in the news recently. Artists to receive weekly payments.

    Its only a "pilot", but that means its possibly it could be widened out.

    Artists to receive weekly payments of €325 through new Basic Income pilot scheme -

    Basic Income for the Arts (BIA) (

    Firstly it doesn't seem like a huge amount of money, and on the surface of it, isn't it great when people get more money, and isn't "art" great too?

    But this raises a number of questions in my mind.

    First, who decides what "art" is, and what "artists" are eligible? Its all subjective really? Except in this case tax payers money is being funnelled to those who qualify.

    No matter what the criteria are, most people are unlikely to agree with it.

    If this scheme is expanded out to thousands of artists (and more), it will start to become a much bigger expense. At the same time, we have a cost of living crisis. And we are being told tax rises are inevitable. lots of kite flying for raising taxes ,e.g. inheritance tax.

    ‘Unavoidable’ tax increases on the cards in Budget 2023, claims Social Justice Ireland – The Irish Times

    What great art, that we appreciate today was created by state subsidies? I'm not talking about private patrons, but taxation being redirected directly to the artists as payment.

    I understand that Art has additional qualities that other products don't. One example is a film that made in Ireland can continue to being inspiration to people, and interest (and income) to the location where it was made. But nonetheless, artists who cannot survive on the income from their arts, are effectivly making a product that people dont want. They are free to do that, good luck to them - but should taxpayers have to subsidise this?



  • Registered Users Posts: 66,166 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal

  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ I Blame Sheeple

    If the 'modern art' section in our museums is anything to go by, toddlers will be able to pay for their own childcare soon.

    As people will buy non-existent statues and call it art, I'd really like to know how it's defined under this legislation. I expect this to be another thing to manipulate for the usual suspects, just like the carer benefits that oh so many of our lovely youngwans reap the benefits of.

    source for whoever may want

    edit: missed your link in OP.

    Citizensinfo says;

    “Arts” means any creative or interpretative expression (whether traditional or contemporary) in whatever form, and includes, in particular, visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture, and includes any medium when used for those purposes.

    I'm going to start filming myself throwing seizures on the ground, call it new-age breakdancing and then apply. ez€€€€€

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  • Registered Users Posts: 345 ✭✭ Adversarial

    Does digital art qualify?

    Because with new AI based tools on the market generating art now requires no more effort than typing text into a box describing what type of image you want the AI to generate. In fact, recently to much controversy a person using an AI to generate digital art recently won a competition, traditional artists were not happy with the result.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,993 ✭✭✭ growleaves

    Did you see the painting that won the competition? The AI couldn't even do faces and the sleeves were done wrong.

    I've never seen an AI painting that was even half decent. An AI will never will be able to do a painting of the quality of Titian or Raphael so the whole thing is moot. Assuming it won fair and square the other paintings must have been absolute muck.

    I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,529 ✭✭✭ Brussels Sprout

    It doesn't seem like a lot of money in the greater scheme of things. I'm up for giving it a shot and let's see what gets produced from it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,993 ✭✭✭ growleaves

    Maybe you're right. There's at least a chance that good things could come from it

    I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 41,469 ✭✭✭✭ SEPT 23 1989

    Poverty is a great driver of art especially with bands when they start out

    when the money comes everything usually goes to sh1t

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,587 ✭✭✭✭ Loafing Oaf

    First, who decides what "art" is, and what "artists" are eligible? Its all subjective really? 

    "Football is made up of subjective feeling, of suggestion - and, in that, Anfield is unbeatable. Put a **** hanging from a stick in the middle of this passionate, crazy stadium and there are people who will tell you it's a work of art. It's not: it's a **** hanging from a stick."

    I don't think it's really about looking to produce the next Girl With a Pearl Earring, it's more about testing the workability of UBI with a sector with traditionally precarious incomes, might easily have done it with small farmers instead if there weren't so many of them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 34,451 ✭✭✭✭ Boggles

    Poverty is a driver away from art.

    May have been true in the past when the vast majority had fúck all.

    But bills got to be paid now.

    It's an interesting pilot which is one of a kind in the world I think.

    Will be interesting to see what metrics they apply to deem it a success or failure.

    might easily have done it with small farmers instead if there weren't so many of them.

    There is already a scheme called Farm Assist, as well as multiple grants.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭ TomTomTim

    Poverty is a driver away from art. May have been true in the past when the vast majority had fúck all

    Oddly it may explain the decline of the arts, because the arts are left to privileged middle class types, who know nothing about anything, and have never really suffered like many people do, so their art only resonates with their own kind.

    “The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone else. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn't it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill--he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it.”- ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,521 ✭✭✭ xxxxxxl

    Not a huge art person but I agree it's more the poor living in strife addiction problems mental health issue that made the best art not recognised at the time but when dead all their stuff got flogged off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,521 ✭✭✭ xxxxxxl

    Elephant in the room is what they call art may not be seen as that by the buyers. Why their not earning any money. 🤔

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,868 ✭✭✭ John Doe1

    Can they not just borrow off their rich parents?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭ donaghs

    Compared with a hundred years ago, we have a generous social welfare system, almost full employment, plus a variety of grants for the arts (accessing those is another matter).

    How did anyone create anything back then?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 290 ✭✭ mazdamiatamx5

    Did you actually read the links you posted? It's a lot tighter than what you suggested.

    There is a legitimate ideological point to be made that there should not be any state-mandated support for the arts. I somewhat agree with that point.

  • Registered Users Posts: 290 ✭✭ mazdamiatamx5

    A hundred years ago, the tenements in Dublin were the worst in Europe, and the poverty in rural areas was as bad if not worse. Personally I'm glad that we have a social welfare system and some very limited degree of state financed support for the arts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭ donaghs

    What am I suggesting? I read it again, and it again seems more broad than than the first time I read it.

    My main concern is that its just a "pilot", with potential to widen the net much further. Just like anyone who writes a book seems to be entitled to an artistic tax exemption.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭ donaghs

    You should take it up with the strawman who wants to go back to living in tenements and rural poverty. Getting back to the topic, do you think this pilot scheme is a good idea, and should be expanded out?

  • Registered Users Posts: 290 ✭✭ mazdamiatamx5

    Someone who successfully writes and has published a book and receives income from it is entitled to avail of income tax exemption on that part of their income. It does not mean that they are exempt from tax on any other income.

    Do you agree with the very lax corporation tax regime?

    It is reported that the likes of Apple, Microsoft, etc funnel enormous profits through Ireland and pay derisory amounts of corporation tax. It's interesting that your concern is about a pilot scheme for a few artists, which at most will cost the taxpayer a few million, rather than the billions legally avoided by massive MNC's.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,174 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze

    MNC pay 12.5% CT here, like most other firms.

    There are various tax reliefs that may reduce effective CT rates below 12.5%.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,274 ✭✭✭✭ y0ssar1an22

    i would support this if the state owned 10% (stand in figure for illustration purposes), of all future earnings.

    that way you can put money in, and when the 1/10000 strikes, you make the money back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,110 ✭✭✭✭ klaz

    Weren't there already grants and supports for artists in Ireland? Is this new basic income added to the existing supports they receive?

    If so, being an artist seems a rather cushy number. There's probably tax relief too, so you get supported by the State, while also selling whatever you make.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle 

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  • Registered Users Posts: 413 ✭✭ The DayDream

    The universal basic income is supposed to support you so you can make art/survive without having to spend all your time and energy at a draining day job. If you're asking 'How is an artist who can't find work different than a factory worker who can't find work?' then you just don't get it at all.

    I have a degree in fine art and have had months or even years where I couldn't do anything creative because I had to work some crappy job to get by. I did factory work myself, 12 hr nights in a medical device factory and I wanted to kill myself. It ruined my mental and physical health (I got some horrible skin rash from the stress)

    I am hoping they widen the scheme as I hadn't heard about it and I just got fired from another crappy job, this one in retail. I was there 2 years and tried my best only to be told 'it wasn't the right environment for me.' The reason we need a scheme like this is because when you get a fine art degree there are no jobs in the field besides teaching and that requires another additional qualification and is actually a separate career altogether that may not suit everyone.

    So you are left with the menial types of jobs you can get without a degree - hospitality, retail, customer service. I've done them all, and now that I'm no longer in my 20s (nowhere near them in fact) and just got fired from another one, I will never bother with a job like that ever again. Because those jobs aren't worth it. The pay is low, you're often physically drained by being on your feet all day, mentally drained by dealing with the insane/idiotic public, and I have also found that the management you work for in these positions range from the merely disrespectful to the downright tyrannical. The lower you are paid the worse everyone treats you. The environments are just very oppressive. That's why these places can't get staff any more - not just artists, everyone is realizing it's not worth dealing with the outrageous nonsense these places put you through.

    When you are a creative person, having to spend the majority of your waking hours doing something that isn't your calling really, really gnaws at you. I know nobody likes to work, but if you really are creative it's a different feeling, it's like being a fish out of water it feels so suffocating. I worked with a girl who used to say she didn't like having too many days off as she got bored at home with nothing to do. Artists are not like that, in fact, I would say that type of person is basically the opposite of me (also evidenced by the fact she was really got at the job and I got sacked lol)

    And that's another thing to consider - a lot of artists just arent good at anything else. The modern work environment often demands a high level of conformity, a terminally upbeat personality, and a corporate bootlicker outlook on life, while any type of creativity or individuality is looked upon with disdain.

    I had to apply for the dole now and if I can't get onto this scheme at some point I imagine I'll be forced onto Jobpath for the 3rd time in my life where they'll try and force me to apply for jobs I have proven I will only ever last at for 2 years max even though I try hard at them. I shouldn't be made sit there and listen to someone who is probably an ex-retail worker themselves (like the last 2 advisors I had admitted they were) how to jazz up my CV to get another job in a call centre or hotel.

    I'll happily work in a regular job that pays a living (not minimum) wage and isn't degrading or soul sucking. But where are those jobs? Well, you need a different qualification for them. And unfortunately when I was growing up we were told to follow our dreams and passions. I guess I was dumb for believing that but here we are.

    I find a lot of people in STEM will scoff and basically say if what you do doesn't make money then it has no worth and you should be made to give it up and work at something else. Well imagine if we lived in a society with no art/music/books/films except for that which was produced by the offspring of the wealthy. That would suck. Or imagine if we lived in a world where all the money was in art and no one cared that you could code an app, like it was considered a worthless skill. Wouldn't it be awful for you to be forced to do something else than what you are good at or passionate about?

    A world where everyone can follow their passion - that would be amazing. And if you don't have a passion that's okay too we will still need plumbers.