A Minimum Income Standard for Ireland - A consensual budget standards study examining household types across the lifecycle
Speakers: Dr Micheál Collins, TCD and Economic Research Unit (ERU), Dr Bernadette Mac Mahon D.C., Director (VPSJ), Gráinne Weld, Research Associate (VPSJ) and Robert Thornton, Research Associate (VPSJ)
Date: Monday 6 February 2012 at 11.00am
Venue: The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin
Seminar to launch the publication of A Minimum Income Standard for Ireland: a consensual budget standards study examining household types across the lifecycle a new study by Trinity College's Policy Institute and the Social Inclusion Division, Department of Social Protection. This report is the 27th publication in Policy Institute's Studies in Public Policy series.
The study was launched by Dr Donald Hirsch, Head of Income Studies and Leader of the Minimum Income Research Programme at the Centre for Research in Social Policy, Loughborough University, UK.
Tony McCashin, School of Social Work and Social Policy, TCD chaired the event.
View media coverage of the publication launch.
- Blue Paper
- Speaker Biographies
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- A Minimum Income Standard for Ireland - A consensual budget standards study examining household types across the lifecycle PDF (804KB)
‘A minimum essential standard of living is one which meets a person’s physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs’ (UN definition of an adequate lifestyle). Since 2004 the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ) has undertaken work to establish the expenditure necessary for this standard of living among a selected group of Irish households (six in total). In this report, Trinity College Dublin and the VPSJ update and extend this research to include a broader, and more representative, group of households. Together with six existing household types, this report uses a consensual budget standards methodology to provide data on the essential living requirements of individuals and households across the entire lifecycle; from children to pensioners. Building on this analysis, the report proceeds to establish the minimum gross income required by these individuals and households to afford the expenditure necessary to meet this standard of living.
By establishing this Minimum Income Standard the report provides a new benchmark grounded in the lived experience of people, one which complements other poverty measures and assists in the formation of income support policies to tackle poverty and enhance social inclusion at each stage of the lifecycle.
The research has been funded through a research grant from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS).
- A Minimum Income Standard for Ireland - A consensual budget standards study examining household types across the lifecycle PDF (293KB)
Dr Micheál Collins was Assistant Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin (to September 2011) and is Senior Research Officer at the ERU (Economic Research Unit). - a think-tank on the Irish Economy established in September 2011. His research interests are in the areas of income distribution, taxation, economic evaluation, public policy and development. Micheál was a member of the Commission on Taxation (2008-09) and served as chairman of the Commission subgroup on Tax Expenditures/Tax Breaks. In 2011 he was appointed a member of the Government Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare.
Dr Donald Hirsh is Head of Income Studies and Leader of the Minimum Income Research Programme at the Centre for Research in Social Policy, Loughborough University, UK. He also works as an independent consultant. He started his career as a journalist, and worked on the staff of The Economist in the late 1980s. He then spent three years on the staff of the OECD, comparing education and related policies of countries around the world. In the past fifteen years, his consultancy work has involved writing reports and making linkages between evidence and policy for a range of public bodies, charities and other organisations. From 1998 to 2008 he was Poverty Adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, where he played a leading role in developing the Foundation's analysis of child poverty, as well as working on a range of other poverty-related topics.
Dr. Bernadette Mac Mahon, D.C. has been the Director of the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ) since its establishment in 1995. She was Head of the Department of Education at the Mater Dei Institute of Education from 1971 – 1985 and Provincial Leader of the Daughters of Charity from 1986-1995. The VPSJ is a NGO working for social and economic change tackling poverty and social exclusion. The VPSJ uses two main approaches in its work for a more just and inclusive Ireland – the promotion of active citizenship among communities in disadvantaged areas and the establishment of the cost of a minimum essential standard of living.
Robert Thornton is a Research Associate at the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin and Queen's University Belfast, Robert joined the VPSJ in 2010. His research interests are in the development of consensual budget standards, taxation and income adequacy.
Gráinne Weld is a Research Associate at the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University, Gráinne joined the VPSJ in 2007. Her research interests are in the development of consensual budget standards, income supports, poverty and social exclusion.