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Policy issues concerning Basic Income

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the central recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce to establish a Pilot Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme with a duration of three years.  A Universal Basic Income pilot scheme for artists is the priamry recommendation of the report 'Life Worth Living'. 

The National Economic Plan - to be published on Budget day - must give equal weight to environmental, social and economic considerations. Otherwise, this Government will simply repeat the mistakes of the past and many will be left behind.  The National Economic Plan must be underpinned by a new social contract that treats our environment, society and economy equally

The current crisis has highlighted serious issues with income inequality, job precarity and low pay.  The Irish Government introduced a COVID-19 unemployment and illness payment of €350 per week and an income subsidy of 70 to 85 per cent for affected businesses to continue to employ staff who cannot work from home but are not at work as part of the “essential services”.

Social Justice Ireland believes that the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Ireland would go a long way to supporting the right of everyone to have a decent income.  But how might it be paid for?  And how could it be implemented?

COVID-19 is causing people to look at how we have structured our society, and reimagine how things could be. Basic Income and Universal Basic Services are complementary policies, essential to ensuring that everyone in society has sufficient income and sufficient access to public services to live life with dignity and experience living standards expected in a first world country.

Basic Income is back on the agenda. Social Justice Ireland were delighted to take part in Basic Income Ireland's Annual Forum - Basic Income, Social Justice and Sustainability - discussing how a Universal Basic Income could be integrated into plans for a Just Transition. We were also interested to note that the Scottish National Party have included Basic Income as part of its plans for an independent Scotland.

In the latest episodes of our podcast, Social Justice Matters, we revisit our Basic Income conference from 2016 to hear from Social Justice Ireland founders Brigid Reynolds and Dr. Seán Healy on why now is the time to grasp the nettle. You can also listen to a short tutorial on Basic Income: the what, the why and the how. Listen in from our website, on Spotify, iTunes, PodBean, or Podcast Republic.

International Basic Income Week 2019 runs from the 16th of September to the 22nd. Social Justice Ireland has long been one of Ireland's leading proponents of Basic Income. This article contains links to a number of papers and videos on the subject of Basic Income, many of which were presented at our 2016 Social Policy Conference which was centred around the topic.

The negative impact on rural towns and communities from the potential fallout from Brexit is receiving welcome attention at present.  But what about the other threat to rural Ireland and regional development - the impact that automation and robotics will have on employment across the regions?  This issue should be front and centre as Government rolls out the Climate Action Plan and the National Development Plan.

A pattern seems to have emerged in the narrative surrounding Finland's pilot programme: “Basic Income has no positive effect employment take-up”. The reality is somewhat more nuanced.

The Council of Europe recently passed a resolution in favour of a Universal Basic Income.  Social Justice Ireland has long advocated for its introduction into Ireland.  It's time has come.

Current welfare systems were not designed to adapt to the challenges presented by automation and globalisation and are not fit for purpose. That's the view of a new paper from the Adam Smith Institute in the UK published to coincide with the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this week. The institute argues that governments should look to Universal Basic Income (UBI) experiments around the world as they seek to address the risks posed by large-scale changes to the labour market while retaining the benefits of trade and technological progress.

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