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.

Reclaiming Commons through Land Value Tax, or a Wing and a Prayer

Patrick Noble suggests some ways in which "ordinary people may steer a course back into history and with luck – a course towards a newly egalitarian and convivial culture." In particular he focusses on basic income combined with a land value tax, as he believes these two initiatives could together "provide the simplest, most elegant regenerative tool for social justice."

Basic income (BI) & intentional currencies

If a Basic Income is indeed a Good Thing, then new currencies will increasingly seek to build it into their design from the outset. This article by Graham Barnes looks at the rationale for BI and at implications for currencies that incorporate BI as one of their currency issuance mechanisms.

Universal Basic Income: A brief overview of a support for intelligent economies, quality of life and a caring society

Basic financial security should be a right for all members of society, yet our present social-welfare system does not adequately support this right and has many other serious flaws. Anne Ryan explains how a universal basic income would increase everybody’s capacity to cope with financial shocks and uncertainties far more effectively than the current system and how it would also improve general quality of life, while supporting many different kinds of work, with or without pay.