Dáil debates

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Low Pay Commission

9:25 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

It is entirely reasonable for the Deputy to table a question in November about something she asked about in September. Two months is a long time and it is important that we are held to account in that regard and that progress is made. I have always been clear that the proposal for a basic income for artists and the universal basic income were not the same thing.

I did not like the fact that they got confused from time to time. Universal basic income is universal, meaning for everyone. Any basic income pilot that was just for any one group in society or any one profession by definition would not be universal; it would be a selective basic income. That is why these projects are being dealt with totally separately.

The basic income for artists project is being led by the Minister, Deputy Catherine Martin, and her Department. That is not a universal basic income; it is a particular basic income system for artists. The research being carried out by the Low Pay Commission under my remit is on universal basic income. Generally, when doing a pilot like that - pilots have been done in other countries - people would be randomly selected to participate in the pilot. To be universal it would need to include a mix of people ranging from the very wealthy to the unemployed, and ranging from people who are self-employed to totally different professions because that is the nature of it. If and when we do the pilot, that will be the approach taken.


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