Basic Income Group

Many Feasta members are advocates and activists for universal basic income, and in 2018, Feasta formed a Basic Income group.

Universal Basic Income is the proposal that the state (or the EU or other governmental body) should make a regular payment to every individual resident regardless of circumstances, without any means test or work requirement. It would be enough to live a frugal but decent life without additional income.

Group members also believe it vital that a basic income should be combined with a ‘social wage’, which consists of services that reduce the cost of living. These include Universal Basic Services which the government provides from public funds, such as healthcare, education, childcare, adult care, legal services and public transport. Social wage also includes access to public goods such as parks, libraries, leisure facilities, galleries and museums.

This Feasta group is particularly focussed on the role that basic income could play in achieving a sustainable society and economy, both in Ireland and globally.

In our research and advocacy we frequently draw on the work of Basic Income Ireland, Social Justice Ireland and international networks such as BIEN. We also work closely with World Basic Income.

The 2022 Feasta discussion paper “Land, labour, housing, money, farms: moving the goalposts of Irish agriculture” incorporates a proposed UBI costing for Ireland which would provide an income of €250 per month to every adult Irish State resident via modest increases in income tax (with those earning less than approximately €40000 a year gaining financially). This costing was developed by two members of Basic Income Ireland, David Quinn and John Baker, who both participated in a video panel discussion on the paper.

Below you can see a range of articles and presentations on basic income, produced by our group members.

Thomas Paine’s 1797 call for a Basic Income: a new paper tells the full story

"With the Covid-19 crisis, calls for a basic income are gaining new momentum. The U.S., and other countries too, could enjoy the immense society-wide benefit of a Basic Income if they are willing to set aside the sour grapes argument...of not providing a social safety net to out-groups," writes Brent Ranalli.

Basic income now: a high-leverage system intervention for sanity, humanity and ecology

This paper by Anne Ryan makes the case for basic income as a key policy instrument for addressing our problems, and is an introduction to a series of forthcoming blog posts that will include excerpts from, and up-to-date commentary on, her book Enough is Plenty.