Taike’s proposals for the Government Programme 2023–2027

The Arts Promotion Centre Finland proposes four measures aimed at supporting the arts and artists during the 2023–2027 government term.
Kuvittaja ottaa väriä pensseliin

Published 6 February 2023

The Arts Promotion Centre Finland proposes the following measures:

  1. Increase funding for the arts and culture to one percent.
  2. Implement the Educational and Cultural Administration 2030 reform as proposed by the report.
  3. Organise an artist salary trial.
  4. Increase the number of artist pensions. 

Increasing funding for the arts and culture to one percent would ensure sustainable operating conditions

The Arts Promotion Centre Finland proposes that the share of funding for the arts and culture (Item 29.80 in the State Budget) be increased to one percent of total government expenditures by 2027 (1.15 when combined with basic arts education).

This equates to an increase of EUR 122.2 million during the next government term. 

The culture sector is a labour-intensive sector, the positive effects of which spread widely throughout the economy. Public support targeted at culture is returned to society in the form of tax revenues and wellbeing benefits.

We propose increasing funding for the culture sector in the State Budget and the combined effect of state and municipal funding, as well as developing incentives to attract private funding to strengthen the economy of the culture sector.

When deciding on funding for the culture sector, culture should be seen as an investment that improves the national economy and wellbeing. Increasing funding would help the badly affected culture sector recover from the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and to meet the challenges of the future, both structurally and functionally. 

Implementing the Educational and Cultural Administration 2030 reform would strengthen the functional capacity of the creative sector

The Arts Promotion Centre Finland supports that one of the goals of the Government Programme should be to implement a comprehensive reform in the administration of the Ministry of Education and Culture in accordance with the Educational and Cultural Administration 2030 report.

As part of the reform, the role and position of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland would be strengthened alternatively:

a) As its own accounting unit

Taike proposes that state aid activities as a whole be reviewed and clarified between the Ministry of Education and Culture and Taike.

b) As part of a merged Taike+Kavi+SES

Taike does not consider a merger in which Taike and the National Audiovisual Institute (Kavi) would be combined, leaving the Finnish Film Foundation (SES) out of the merger, as appropriate.

Developing the creative industries and realising their growth potential requires that art, culture and the creative industries are viewed more as a whole than at present.

The actions presented in the Educational and Cultural Administration 2030 report would clarify the structures of the educational and cultural administration and strengthen the quality of services, operations and the management system.

The framework for the General Government Fiscal Plan for 2023–2026 calls for structural administrative reforms. It is recommended that tasks be organised in conjunction with other agencies handling synergistic tasks.

Within the Ministry of Education and Culture’s administrative sector, there are many organisations operating in the form of agencies, the size of which varies considerably. The agencies in this administrative sector do not currently form a clear structural and functional entity as recommended by the Ministry of Finance.

Organising an artist salary trial and increasing the number of artist pensions would improve the employment of artists, as well as their employment, pension and social security

Artist salary trial

The Arts Promotion Centre Finland proposes that an artist salary trial be introduced with separate funding in 2024–2025.

The purpose of the experiment would be to explore solutions to improve the social, unemployment and pension security of artists by turning their subsidised work into salaried work. The trial would be supported by an extensive report.

In the trial, approximately 20 artists representing different fields of the arts would be employed with a “freelance artist’s salary” at the employer of their choice. The selection process for artists would include a peer review of applicants by an expert panel in accordance with the current evaluation of funded work.

The total costs would be EUR 2 million euros divided by the years of the trial.

Social security and labour legislation is based on the categories of wage earners and entrepreneurs. Artists fall between the traditional division of employee or entrepreneur. Unemployment insurance and other social benefits are uncertain and create disruptions to the livelihoods of artists.

State working grants for artists do not include unemployment insurance or employee benefits, such as holidays or occupational healthcare. Grants even have the effect of cutting some of the benefits.

The artist salary trial would pilot the possibility of changing State artist grants into a form of paid work, which would bring artists in the future within the scope of unemployment, social security and pension security of ordinary wage earners. Trialling artist salaries has been proposed by many organisations in the arts sector, the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Parliament's Education Committee and the Education and Science Division of the Finance Committee. 

Increasing the number of artist pensions

The Arts Promotion Centre Finland proposes that the number of supplementary artist pensions be increased to 100 new pensions awarded annually.

The costs would be approximately EUR 1 million.

Supplementary artist pensions are awarded as recognition of an outstanding contribution to the creative or performing arts. There is no subjective right to an artist pension, as the awarding of artist pensions is discretionary.

The number of artist pension applications has increased continuously. More than 600 applicants applied for supplementary artist pensions starting in 2022, of which approximately 10 percent received a positive decision. New artist pensions corresponding to a total of 51 full pensions (approximately EUR 1 million) are awarded annually. The total cost of these pensions per year is approximately EUR 20 million.

The need for supplementary artist pensions is great, as especially in the fields of visual arts, popular and rhythm music and literature, as well as in certain fields of the performing arts, artistic work is rarely based on employment relationships that would provide sufficient pension security.

In the longer term, the status of artists and the social security system should be developed so that there would be no need to create separate solutions for artists.