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06 Dec 2021

Tánaiste reveals plan to trial Universal Basic Income during lifetime of government

Tánaiste reveals plan to trial Universal Basic Income during lifetime of government

Tánaiste reveals plan to trial Universal Basic Income during lifetime of government

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has revealed a plan to trial a Universal Basic Income (UBI) during the lifetime of his government. 

He spoke about the concept after appointing a new chairman to a Commission responsible for examining its feasibility in Ireland. 

Dublin Bus Chairman, Ultan Courtney, has been appointed to the post at the Low Pay Commission, which makes recommendations on the rate of minimum wage to the Minister for Enterprise. 

Speaking about UBI, Tánaiste Varadkar said, "As well as fulfilling its usual role in making recommendations to government on the minimum wage, the Commission will be undertaking the really important work of developing a Living Wage for Ireland. The Commission is also carrying out an examination of the Universal Basic Income, with a view to a pilot being undertaken in the lifetime of the Government." 

UBI is the concept of a regular payment given to every citizen regardless of circumstances (without any means test or work requirement), replacing social welfare payments and the State Pension. 

No information about the date or circumstances of the proposed pilot are available at this time. 

Speaking about his new role, Mr Courtney said, "I look forward to working with the other members [sic] to examine issues affecting low pay in Ireland and to bring forward recommendations on the living wage and on universal basic income." 

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