What would a Universal Basic Income mean for You?

A basic income is a payment from the state to every citizen and permanent resident on an individual basis, without any means test or work requirement. It would be sufficient to live a frugal but decent lifestyle without supplementary income from paid work. Basic income would have an impact in many different ways.

Basic income would affect different people’s lives in many different ways. Imagine yourself and others having a basic income. Consider its benefits for you and for people you know. What would life be like?

Send us your ideas and we will include a selection of them here. Your ideas could take the form of a simple email, a song, a drawing, painting or cartoon, a sketch, a video – however you feel most comfortable in expressing yourself. Let your imagination flow!

Here’s one response we’ve received to this question:

Nathan Jackson runs a small organic farm business in Co Kildare. He receives the Back-to-work Enterprise Allowance (BTEA), but a basic income would be much more beneficial for his business. Nathan writes:
“Whilst BTEA is definitely a help, the reality is it won’t cover me for long enough to allow the business to begin replacing my income, even at welfare levels. That is, I’m probably 3-5 years away from being able to draw €200 a week from the business, however my BTEA will be only €150 per week by next May (2013) and gone altogether by May 2014. If I had a basic income this wouldn’t be a problem but under the current system itis probably the biggest headache I face as well as a constant source of pressure to ‘sell out’ or begin doing things against my value system, against the nature of the project, but in favour of market economics. For example it was my goal to make the food I produce affordable to the average person, it’s now looking like I’ll have to make a t least a few products such as ice-cream and tomato sauce that won’t be affordable to the averae person and will have to be sold via gourmet food shops, shops which are in reality the preserve of the well to do.”