Colin Murphy: Greens’ deal for artists doesn’t mean basic income is coming

Catherine Martin’s announcement of a basic income pilot scheme for artists will be popular with that hard-hit community, but the concept of a national basic income is politically divisive

Minister for Culture Catherine Martin’s scheme is not to be a pilot for a universal basic income, but a pilot for a basic income guarantee for artists. Picture: Gareth Chaney

Our welfare state is older than the state itself: its foundations were laid by David Lloyd George, then the British chancellor of the exchequer, in his “people's budget” of 1909.

The next seismic development came in the wake of the 1942 Beveridge report in the UK, which led to the post-war creation of the modern welfare state. In Ireland, we followed slowly and in piecemeal fashion in its wake.

Many believe the next great reform ...