Social Security Programme for Art Creators
The key objective of the measure is to ensure the implementation of social security measures for art creators
As opposed to other professions, the profession of an artist generally does not lead to having a permanent employer and steady income; however, artists remain liable for all taxes, including contributions to the State Social Insurance Fund and the State Health Insurance Fund, and thus find themselves in a vulnerable position regarding their social security.
In 2011 the Parliament passed an amendment to the Law on the Status of an Art Creator and the Status of an Organization of Art Creators. As a result of this amendment, the Social Security Programme for Art Creators was approved by the Government (2011-03-16). As stated in this programme, the state now pays contributions to the State Social Insurance Fund and the State Health Insurance Fund for art creators on a low, irregular income as well as for art creators who are at a creative standstill (a temporary period of time during which an art creator does not have the conditions to work or disseminate his works and therefore receive income). Working age Art Creators are covered for pension, sickness and maternity benefits if they do not have any insured income or this kind of income is less than 12 minimum monthly salaries or do not receive any income under the copyright agreement. Moreover, art creators at a creative standstill are entitled to financial benefits during this period.
The statistics shows that every year more and more artists request the status of art creators, which represents not only financial benefits, but also a prestige in the society. The implementation of the measure strengthen the social status of Art Creators. In 2012-2015 774 artists acquired the Status of an Art Creator. In Lithuania there are approx. 5000 artists, which have the Status of an Art Creator.
During 2012-2015 period the State paid contributions of 4.086.169,96€ in total to the State Social Insurance Fund and the State Health Insurance Fund for art creators (in 2012 – 790.071,19€, in 2013 – 1.025.864,46€, in 2014 –1.112.575,70€, in 2015 – 1.157.658,61€). During 2012-2015 period 191 art creators applied for financial aid due to their creative standstills. Every year more and more art creators apply for financial benefits. In 2012 the Ministry of Culture confirmed 32 applications, successively 46 applications in 2013, 59 - in 2014, 54 –in 2015. It can be presumed that the programme has proved to be efficient because every year more and more art creators avail of its advantages.