Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme

The government has announced a scheme “Basic Income for the Arts” (BIA) to enable artists and creative arts workers to focus on artistic and creative work during the period of the pilot scheme, without having to enter into employment in other sectors to sustain themselves.

Grants to the value of €325 per week will be paid to successful participants.

Payments will be made on a monthly basis.

The Scheme is open to:

  • Practicing artists;
  • Creative arts workers (see definition below), or;
  • Recently trained applicants.

For the purposes of the BIA scheme a Creative Arts Worker is defined as follows:

“A creative arts worker is 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”.

All applicants must be:

  • 18 years of age or older;
  • In a position to evidence their creative practice or career in the arts;
  • Based in the Republic of Ireland, and;
  • Tax compliant.

Tax and Social Welfare Treatment of the Payments

Please note:

  • These payments will be reckonable for the purposes of income tax. All successful participants will need to register with Revenue as self-employed and pay Schedule D income tax, where appropriate, on the BIA grant payment.
  • Income from the pilot will be liable for Class S PRSI
  • The Department of Social Protection (DSP) will treat income from the scheme as income from self-employment for the purpose of its various means tests. This means that where a scheme includes a disregard of a certain amount of income from self-employment, that disregard will be applied to income from the basic income pilot. It should be noted that not all means-tested schemes include disregards for income from self-employment. The extent to which this income will have an impact on a person’s DSP payment will depend on the means test for that scheme and the person’s individual circumstances (in particular whether the person and/or their spouse/partner has other means).
  • Applicants are strongly advised to investigate what their own particular tax and social welfare situation may be should they receive payment.
  • Those in receipt of a social welfare payment who receive payments from the pilot scheme should advise the Department of Social protection of this change in their circumstances.

How to Apply

Applications may be made through the online application portal. The portal and application form are available in English and in Irish.

The portal will open for applications at 1pm on Tuesday 12 April and close at 1pm on Thursday 12 May.

Late applications will not be considered.

More information on the scheme can be found in