For immediate release:

Press Release / Preasráiteas November 6 Samhain 2023

Ireland recently launched the Basic Income for the Arts (BIA) pilot scheme. Basic Income Ireland welcomes this and argues that society and economy would benefit if everybody had a Basic Income: a regular payment to every individual resident regardless of circumstances, without any means test or work requirement. Basic Income Ireland will launch their paper “A Model of Basic Income For Ireland” at their annual conference on Wednesday 8 November 2023 09:00 – 13:00, at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Dublin D07CR20.

Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will open and address the conference.  

Novelist and commentator, Michelle Gallen, author of Factory Girls, will discuss why everybody should have a Basic Income. The conference will also hear from artists involved in the Basic Income for the Arts pilot.

As a contribution to the discussion on how to fund it, Professor John Baker and Councillor Dave Quinn will present a paper outlining one model for financing UBI now in Ireland. 

The key message of is that ‘It’s a great idea, and we can afford this now’

Some key highlights of the paper are that, noting caveats due to data constraints, under this model:

  • All in society are provided with a basic income equivalent to jobseeker’s allowance
  • This model significantly reduces barriers and increases incentives to take up paid work
  • A large majority of income earners will be better off, those earning up to about €55,000pa 
  • Those on low pay (€20,000pa) will benefit by 20%, up to 65% for the very low paid (€10,000pa)
  • The well off will pay slightly more, 1.4% for those on €100,000 and 2.5% for those on €300,000
  • This can be implemented now with a few institutional changes. 

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, said:

“I’m happy to have been invited to the Basic Income Ireland conference and to outline the work my Department has been doing on trialling the first Irish Basic Income Pilot programme, the Basic Income for the Arts. I am delighted with the progress of the Basic Income for the Arts scheme, which shows how we can and should support and nurture the talent and creativity of our artists.  While it’s too early to say how the BIA will impact artists’ practice, the data collected will form an evidence base for future government policy. I look forward to the discussions that will take place.”

Bobby Lambert, Co-ordinator at Basic Income Ireland

“The Basic Income for the Arts scheme was introduced to support the creativity and enterprise of artists, who contribute so much to our society and economy. A Universal and Unconditional Basic Income would support and encourage caring, creativity and enterprise of all in our society, and, alongside other measures, help ensure that the basic needs of all are met. In these rapidly changing times, this type of innovation is vitally needed and is clearly affordable. Ireland can take the lead in making it happen. It is a beautiful idea whose time has come.”

Basic Income Ireland is the Irish affiliate of the Basic Income Earth Network.  We envisage an Ireland where every child, woman and man has an unconditional guaranteed basic income sufficient to live life with dignity.

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