This discussion paper is in four parts: Firstly the role of basic income in improving the well-being of specific groups of people in Irish society will be discussed. Secondly, the paper will explore how basic income, in part by increasing social capital, would impact positively on Irish society and by doing so, improve the health and well-being of all Irish people. Thirdly, the experience of basic income as it has been tried in other countries will be discussed. Finally, we will look at the ways in which basic income challenges our current economic model and recommendations will be made. Initially, however, it is necessary to look at the definitions of both basic income and health.
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Elizabeth Cullen is a medical doctor with a long standing interest in the impact of the environment on health and has a Ph D for her research on the impacts of climate change on health. She believes that our interest based money system underlies many of the problems that society now faces, and the health challenges that these pose.