Social Policy Conference 2016

9:30am – 4:30pm
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Radical Utopia or Practical Solution?

Tuesday November 22nd 2016  09:30 – 16:30
Croke Park Conference Centre

Social Justice Ireland’s Annual Social Policy Conference 2016 will focus on Basic Income, the theory behind it, and how it can be applied in practice.  Registration now open - click here.


Conference Chair: Michael Clifford -  Journalist and Broadcaster.


8:45                 Registration and tea/coffee

9:25                 Opening remarks

9:30                Basic Income: Radical Utopia or Practical Solution?
                      Seán Healy and Brigid Reynolds – Social Justice Ireland

10:00              Citizen’s Basic Income – is it feasible?
                      Malcolm Torry -  Director of Citizen’s Income Trust UK

10:30              Citizenship and Basic Income
                      Anthony Painter - Director of Policy and Strategy, Royal Society of Arts UK

11:00              Tea/Coffee

11:30              Tackling poverty and social exclusion with unconditional money: Notes on the Finnish basic income                                   experiment
                      Ville-Veikko Pulkka - researcher at The Finnish Social Insurance Institution Kela

11:50              Municipal Basic Income-related Experiments in the Netherlands
                      Sjir Hoeijmakers - an econometrician advising Dutch municipalities on basic income. 

12:10              A Right to Housing? The case for a Universal Housing Subsidy
                       Ronan Lyons - Assistant Professor of Economics, Trinity College Dublin

12:40              Response to the International Context
                      Ursula Barry -  Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of School of Social Justice, UCD

LUNCH 1pm to 2pm


14:00              Pathways to a Basic Income System 
                      Michelle Murphy - Social Justice Ireland

14:30              Basic Income and Transformative Strategies
                      Michael Taft – UNITE

15:00              Costing a Basic Income for Ireland
                      Eamon Murphy and Seán Ward – Social Justice Ireland

15:30              Response to the Irish proposals
                      Roisin Mulligan - Basic Income Ireland

15:50              ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

Michael Taft, Roisin Mulligan, Ville-Veikko Pulkka, Sjir Hoeijmakers and Seán Healy

16:20              Closing remarks

Key Speakers

Malcolm Torry is Director of the Citizen’s Income Trust and Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, UK. Recent publications include Money for Everyone: Why we Need a Citizen’s Income, and 101 Reasons for a Citizen’s Income: Arguments for Giving Everyone Some Money.  In 2016 he published a book titled “The Feasibility of Citizen’s Income”

Anthony Painter leads the Action and Research Centre at the UK Royal Society for the Arts (RSA).  His own work focuses on a range of policy issues including the impact of new technology on the economy and society and reform to welfare.  He is author of three books, most recently 'Left without a future? Social Justice in anxious times' and has written a number of very high impact policy and research reports such as “Creative citizen, creative state: the principled and pragmatic case for a Universal Basic Income”, “The New Digital Learning Age”, “The Fear and Hope Report”, and "Democratic Stress, the populist signal, and the extremist threat".

Ursula Barry is Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of School of Social Justice at UCD.  Lecturer and researcher specialising in social economics with a particular focus on gender, equality and public policy in Ireland. 

Michael Taft is Research Officer with UNITE the Union, and blogs on political, economic and social issues @notesonthefront . 

Ronan Lyons is Assistant Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin, where his areas of research include urban economics, housing markets and global economic history.  Previously a Junior Diplomat with Irish Aid in 2005/2006, economist for Ireland’s National Competitiveness Council and a policy analyst at Forfás and IBM.  He established the Economics Research unit at, Ireland’s largest property website, and is responsible for the quarterly reports on Ireland’s residential sales and lettings markets.

Ville-Veikko Pulkka is researcher at The Finnish Social Insurance Institution Kela. He is a member of the research group charged with preparing the Finnish basic income experiment. In addition to basic income research, he is preparing a doctoral dissertation on digital working life at the University of Helsinki.

Sjir Hoeijmakers is an econometrician who advises Dutch municipalities that want to experiment with elements of a basic income.  He organizes coordination between the experimental initiatives on an academic, political and governmental level. He is also a prominent contributor to the public debate on the issue in the Netherlands. Hoeijmakers has crowdfunded his own 'basic income' in order to independently dedicate himself to his work.

Roisin Mulligan is a member of Basic Income Ireland.  She won the Basic Income Studies (BIS) Essay Prize for papers presented at the 14th Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) Congress held in Munich, Germany in September 2012 for her research paper entitled “UBI and Recognition.  In addition to promoting Basic Income, Roisin is a Social Finance Officer at Clann Credo, Ireland’s leading provider of Community Loan Finance. 

The Conference will address these themes

  • Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities – – The role of Basic Income
  • Basic Income in Practice – International experience
  • Basic Income in Ireland – Options for implementatioN

The presentations  will

  • Provide an update on international thinking on Basic Income in the context of citizens’ rights and responsibilities
  • Make the case for Basic Income as a way towards a more inclusive, equal and creative society
  • Showcase practical examples from the Netherlands and Finland
  • Put forward proposals on how a Basic Income can be applied to Ireland

It is of interest to policy makers, academics, social justice activists and others interested in looking at new ways of creating a more equal, just and fair society.

About Basic Income

A Basic Income is a payment from the state to everyone, without any means test or work requirement.  It would be sufficient meet people’s basic needs and enable them to live with dignity.  Basic Income is not a new concept and working groups and over 22 national and regional groups are working on progressing it worldwide.  Further Information is available at

Register for 'Basic Income: Radical Utopia or Practical Solution?' here