Basic Income for the Arts (BIA)

What is the Basic Income for the Arts (BIA)?

The new Basic Income for the Arts (BIA) pilot scheme aims to support the arts and creative practice by giving a payment of €325 a week to artists and creative arts workers.

The main objective of the scheme is to address the financial instability faced by many working in the arts.

The pilot scheme closed for applications on 12 May 2022. 2,000 eligible artists and creative arts workers were selected at random and invited to take part in the pilot scheme.

The pilot runs over 3 years, from 2022 to 2025.

Who is eligible for the basic income?

Who is eligible to apply?

You are eligible to apply if you are a:

  • Practicing artist
  • Creative arts worker
  • Recently trained applicant

A creative arts worker is defined as someone who has a creative practice and whose creative work makes a key contribution to the production, interpretation or exhibition of the arts.

“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.

A recently trained applicant is an artist or creative arts worker who has completed arts training, including an apprenticeship, but who may not yet have sufficient evidence to apply as an Artist or Creative Arts Worker.

You must also be:

  • Aged 18 or older
  • Able to show evidence of your creative practice or career in the arts
  • Based in the Republic of Ireland
  • Tax compliant

You can get a list of examples of the types of artists and creative art workers who are eligible in the BIA Scheme Guidelines for Applicants.

Who is not eligible?

You are not eligible if you:

  • Cannot demonstrate you have a creative practice in an art-form or that your creative work makes a key contribution to the production, interpretation or exhibition of the arts (there are exceptions to this for Stream 2 applications – see ‘How to apply’ below)
  • Are a full-time student or will be engaged in full-time study during the period October 2022 to October 2025
  • Are in full-time PAYE employment with organisations funded through The Arts Council, commercial arts organisations or other state-funded arts or cultural organisations
  • Are an Aosdána member in receipt of the Cnuas

You can get a list of examples of people who are ineligible for the BIA in the Scheme Guidelines for Applicants.

Rates

You will be paid a BIA grant of €325 a week. Payments will be made monthly.

The pilot will run over 3 years, from 2022 to 2025. As this is a research pilot there is no guarantee that funding will continue after the pilot.

Taxation of BIA payments

The payment will be taxable, but the amount of tax paid will depend on your individual circumstances.

You will need to register with Revenue as self-employed and pay Schedule D income tax, where appropriate, on the BIA payment. Income from the pilot will be liable for Class S PRSI.

You are entitled to earn additional income, which would also be reckonable for the purposes of income tax.

Social welfare treatment

Income from the scheme will be treated as income from self-employment for the purpose of various means tests.

If you are in receipt of a social welfare payment and receive payments from the pilot scheme, you should advise the Department of Social Protection (DSP) of this change in your circumstances.

Read more about how the BIA interacts with DSP payments.

How to apply

Applications closed at 1pm on Thursday 12 May.

The scheme has 2 application streams.

Stream 1: Practicing Artists and Creative Arts Workers who can demonstrate sufficient evidence of eligibility (see documents to upload below).

Stream 2: Recently trained applicants who cannot yet demonstrate that they have engaged in a creative practice where their creative work makes a key contribution to the production, interpretation or exhibition of the arts.

Documents to upload (evidence of eligibility)

Applicants under Stream 1 must provide evidence their eligibility as an artist or creative arts worker by uploading two pieces of evidence from any of the following categories:

  • Membership of a relevant resource or art form representative body
  • Proof of income from your work as an artist or a creative arts worker
  • Proof of active engagement within your creative field or art form

Applicants under Stream 2 must provide supporting evidence of having trained in their chosen artform(s), for example by providing evidence of a qualification, apprenticeship or training.

You can get detailed information on the documents to upload with your application in the BIA Scheme Guidelines for Applicants.

Selection process

Approximately 2,000 eligible applicants will be selected to participate in the pilot scheme.

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be included in an anonymised random sampling process. A randomiser software will be used to select participants at random. The sample will be checked to ensure adequate representation.

Appeals

You can appeal if you think the process for reviewing your application was not adhered to.

You must have a decision email from the Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme team to make an appeal and you must appeal within 5 working days of the date on the decision email.

How does the pilot scheme work?

The pilot scheme will evaluate the impact of a basic income on artists and creative arts workers. The pilot programme will collect and analyse data from BIA recipients and a control group throughout the pilot.

If you are selected to participate on BIA, you will:

  • Take part in the pilot research programme for 3 years (2022 to 2025)
  • Engage in ongoing data collection as part of the pilot to determine the impact of the grant payment

You can read more about the type of data you will need to collect and share if you are selected to participate in the BIA pilot.

If you are asked to participate in the control group

A number of eligible applicants who are not selected to receive the payment will be asked to participate in a control group. Control group participants will respond to the same survey and data requests as those in receipt of the payment.

If you participate in the control group, you are paid two weeks basic income for each of the 3 years of the pilot scheme. This means you will get 6 weeks of the BIA payment to compensate you for the time required to engage in the data collection process.

More information

You can read the detailed scheme guidelines or the FAQ page Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme - FAQs for more information about BIA.

You can contact the Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme team by email at basicincomeforthearts@tcagsm.gov.ie.

Page edited: 13 May 2022