Written answers

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Universal Basic Income

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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31. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress made with the development of a comprehensive policy in relation to a basic income for all; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25233/22]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The programme for Government includes a commitment to "request the Low Pay Commission to examine universal basic income, informed by a review of previous international pilots, and resulting in a universal basic income pilot in the lifetime of the Government". In 2021, I formally requested that the Low Pay Commission examine this commitment.

To inform its considerations, the Low Pay Commission asked the ESRI to conduct background technical research on a universal basic income under the terms of the Low Pay Commission-ESRI Research Partnership Agreement.

The study was to examine the universal basic income pilots that have taken place in other jurisdictions in order to identify what has been learned and what might be relevant to a pilot in Ireland. It was also to identify which policy objectives a universal basic income pilot could address and the associated risks and financial implications. It was to conclude with recommendations on how a pilot in Ireland might be designed and how it could be run.

The Low Pay Commission intends to provide a report to me on this research and its recommendations by the end of June 2022. I will work with my officials to examine the Low Pay Commission’s findings and recommendations. I expect to be able to publish both the ESRI report and the LPC's report shortly after receiving them.


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