Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
There has been contact at official and ministerial level and I am happy to clarify this point. As the House will understand, the whole idea and point of a universal basic income is that it is universal. This would be a weekly or monthly payment paid to every adult in the State, whether they are a Bono or a busker, a Deputy or someone experiencing homelessness. What was proposed in the report on the arts was something very different and was a basic income for artists and would not at all be universal. It would be the opposite to universal in being sectoral. We are treating these as separate projects. The Minister, Deputy Martin, is going to lead on a project relating to artists which will be a little bit like a stipend for artists that they will receive whereas we are going to lead on the genuine universal basic income project which would not be sectoral. It would not be men but not women, or people in Louth but not in Cork, or artists but not doctors. The whole point of a universal basic income is that it is universal and any pilot would have to take a random selection of the population to be valid.