Sign Petition to Support Universal Basic Income

Posted on
19 Jun 2022
by Basic Income Ireland

Conflict (e.g. Ukraine, Africa, Middle East) and COVID-19 show that we need to build resilience in our societies at all levels.  These unexpected events add to existing challenges of climate change, scarce resources, supply chain issues, inequality and migration. Government responses to the COVID pandemic (eg. special financial support for individuals, businesses during lockdowns) are examples of new ways being found to show solidarity. 

Stability measures are critical to sustaining our societies in these unsettled times.  A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is one such measure that is getting more attention now, although the idea has been around for many years.

Governments around the world are looking at the idea of allocating money to a large section of the population to supplement income they might earn otherwise.  For some, this money could replace Social Welfare payments or old age pensions.  But for most it would act as a safety net which would protect everyone from extreme poverty and give freedom to engage in more enjoyable or productive work or education or caring or volunteering.

Our government is running a pilot project for 2,000 people in the arts sector.  These people will get a basic income of €325 per week (€16,900 per year) for three years from 2022 to 2025.  There is no means test but the basic income will be subject to tax and PRSI among other terms and conditions.

The government has also asked the Low Pay Commission to examine Universal Basic Income, informed by a review of previous international pilots, and resulting in a universal basic income pilot in the lifetime of the Government. 

EU Dimension

A voluntary EU-wide group is gathering signatures to request the EU Commission to make a proposal for unconditional basic incomes throughout the EU, which reduce regional disparities in order to strengthen the economic, social and territorial cohesion in the EU European Citizens' Initiative for Universal Basic Income 2020-2022.  

This group launched a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which gives all of us a direct method to force the EU Commission to consider possible EU-wide legislation.  The EU Commission is required to respond if an ECI can attract a million signatures within a year and if a threshold is reached in at least seven EU member states.

The threshold for Ireland is 9,165 of which over 1,500 (ie. 17%) have signed so far.  Across Europe this ECI has gathered over 240,000 signatures (at the time of writing).

To Mainstream UBI, Sign the ECI Petition...

Given our government’s decision to try out a basic income for the arts, we in Ireland should make every effort to support this initiative, to support UBI being mainstreamed on a pilot basis as set out in the Government programme.

To sign this petition, you:

  1. Do not have to be registered to vote;
  2. Must be old enough to vote in a European election ie. at least 18 years old;
  3. Have to provide Full first names, Family names, Residence (street, number, postal code, city, country), Date of birth.  The Franchise Section (Dept. of Housing, Local Government and Heritage) may write to some signatories, on a random basis, as part of the validation process.

As this European Citizens Initiative closes Saturday, 25 June, please sign the petition now:

Sign Petition

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