For immediate release:

Press Release / Preasráiteas June 15 Meitheamh 2020

Basic Income Ireland, the national body for the promotion of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Ireland, has welcomed the commitment by Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party to trial UBI in the lifetime of the next government.

UBI is an automatic payment from the state to every adult legal resident, without conditions attached. It is always tax free and is designed to replace in-work tax credits and core social welfare payments. Top-up payments remain in place for those with special needs and for pensioners.

With the global pandemic having led to mass unemployment, there have been renewed calls for alternative economic approaches that ensure the basic needs of citizens and allow national economies to thrive.

The Programme for Government has committed to having the Low Pay Commission examine UBI, and to a pilot programme during the lifetime of the next Government.

Anne Ryan, Joint Co-ordinator at Basic Income Ireland, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need for bold, innovative thinking in order to provide security and stability for all members of society. We welcome the commitment to investigate UBI and develop a trial within the life of the govt.

“However, we would like to see this as part of a commitment to introduce a full permanent basic income for all within the next five years. Trials and pilots have already been carried out in Europe and worldwide and all have shown positive effects. Replicating them in Ireland may not be the best use of time and money when we already know that basic income is one key element of the infrastructure for building a caring society, smart economy, inclusiveness and equality.”

Bobby Lambert, Joint Co-ordinator at Basic Income Ireland, said: “Universal Basic Income was a well-established proposal long before the crisis, and has been successfully trialled in Finland, Canada and Alaska. Following the pandemic and as we look ahead, the case for it to act as a platform for success for Irish entrepreneurs, farmers, artists and citizens has never been stronger.

“We’re looking forward to the implementation of the trial programme, which will support the development of a more sustainable and resilient society.”

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