Anne B Ryan
The system for social security as it has developed in Ireland and many other European countries is not working. It was designed for a different era, to provide income security for the relatively small numbers of people who became temporarily unemployed from standard jobs. Efforts to patch it up in response to new needs have been piecemeal. On the other hand, some EU countries, such as Italy and Greece, have no social security system in place. We need a proactive new system, building on the old system’s principles of security and social solidarity, but far more inclusive. Basic financial security should be a right for all members of society. A system that could achieve this is universal basic income, sometimes called a citizens’ income or dividend, and referred to as basic income in this short introductory paper.