SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has hosted Irish Green Party Minister for Culture and Arts Catherine Martin at a Westminster committee meeting to advance the case for a Basic Income Scheme for people working in the creative sectors.
Ms Hanna, who is Chair of the Performers Alliance All Party Parliamentary Group that supports members of the Equity, Writers Guild and Musicians Union, organised the meeting to showcase the societal and economic benefits of proper support for the Arts.
Speaking after the event, South Belfast MP Ms Hanna said:
“In a genuinely innovative piece of public policy, Minister Catherine Martin has commenced a trial scheme that provides 2000 artists and creative workers with a basic income of €325 per week for three years and which will monitor the impact on their creative work and earnings. This scheme is likely to be transformative for the sector and further underlines how Stormont ministers have systematically neglected and underfunded the creative sectors in Northern Ireland.
“The Minister addressed our All Party Group, made up of MPs from seven parties at Westminster, about the development and early positive impacts of this scheme, which aims to allow artists to have the security of a basic income to allow them to develop their work and creative practice.
“The policy is based on a belief in the intrinsic value of the arts, culture and creativity and in the benefits of investing in this sector. It shows a seriousness about collective wellbeing and the importance of cultural distinctiveness on the global stage. Our APPG will continue to work with arts workers and to advocate serious and innovate Arts policy from Stormont and Westminster.”