Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

A Minimum Income Standard for Ireland - A consensual budget standards study examining household types across the lifecycle

Blue Paper Abstract

'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 the 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 study was launched on 6 Februrary 2012 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.

About the Authors

launch photoDr 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).

Dr Bernadette Mac Mahon D.C. is Director of the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice.

Gráinne Weld is a Research Associate at the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice.

Robert Thornton is a Research Associate at the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice.

Ordering Blue Papers

To purchase a copy of this publication please email indicating the Blue Paper title, reference number and required quantity.

Media Coverage

View media coverage of the publication launch.


Last updated 27 November 2012 .