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To: The Government of Ireland

Emergency Call for Universal Basic Income

We call on the Government of Ireland to pay a permanent, unconditional Universal Basic Income (UBI) of at least €203 per week to all legal residents between 18 and state pension age, starting as quickly as possible.

This will replace jobseekers' benefits – currently €203 per week – and the UBI amount in other benefits, such as the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and enhanced Illness Benefit.

This is one essential part of the measures urgently needed to help our society and economy cope with and eventually recover from the crisis.

Why is this important?

Universal Basic Income will reach all members of society and will fill the many gaps in current provisions. It will fund basic living costs, help everyone to spend money in the real everyday economy and facilitate people to do essential caring and voluntary work. [1]

The payment will promote stability in the crisis. It will also serve as an investment that will help society and the economy to recover and flourish when the immediate crisis has passed.

This petition calls for a Universal Basic Income of *at least* €203 per week, because this is the current maximum rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit and other core social welfare benefits. Basic Income Ireland has always maintained that current benefit levels are inadequate and that the level of UBI should be based on the real cost of living. Although some people will receive higher payments during the current emergency, these are temporary. Universal Basic Income is universal, unconditional, and permanent, and so provides basic financial security to everyone.

In introducing Universal Basic Income, the Irish government will lead the way in valuing all members of society as active participants in working through the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.

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[1] David McWilliams, ‘This is the time for economics with a human face’, Irish Times 21/3/20.
Daniel Susskind, ‘Universal Basic Income is an affordable and feasible response to coronavirus’, Financial Times 18/3/20.
House of Commons Early Day Motion #302: Temporary universal basic income.
‘Calls for UK basic income payment to cushion coronavirus impact’, The Guardian 19/3/20
‘Why more than 500 political figures and academics globally have called for universal basic income in the fight against coronavirus’, Independent 18/3/20.



2020-03-29 09:01:53 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2020-03-25 15:55:48 +0000

500 signatures reached

2020-03-24 13:18:13 +0000

100 signatures reached

2020-03-24 12:50:33 +0000

50 signatures reached

2020-03-24 12:28:19 +0000

25 signatures reached

2020-03-24 12:19:16 +0000

10 signatures reached