Control of tax and social powers are necessary for a “complete” UBI pilot, says Plaid Cymru

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Plaid Cymru MS Luke Fletcher in the Senedd

According to Plaid Cymru, Wales needs checks on tax and social powers to run a ‘comprehensive’ Universal Basic Income (UBI) pilot scheme.

Luke Fletcher MS, the party’s economy spokesman, welcomed yesterday’s announcement of a basic income pilot but warned the Welsh government will have to ‘curb’ its ‘ambition’ if it wants go further.

The Welsh Government has presented plans for a £1600 per month basic income pilot scheme for care leavers in Wales, in which young people leaving care and turning 18 during over a period of 12 months, in all local authority areas, will be offered the opportunity to participate in the pilot.

Luke Fletcher said: “This pilot project is a step in the right direction for the Welsh Government, but it’s really important that it has the structure around it to enable it to deliver on the ambition to tackle poverty and unemployment, as well as improving health and welfare finances.

“Poverty is as multi-dimensional as it is widespread, and there is no reason why this pilot project cannot be scaled up to a wider population from the outset.

“To fully support these measures, the Welsh Government must demand more powers over social protection and taxation, and not allow its previous reluctance to do so to hold back this new ambition.

“These additional powers are urgently needed, not only to launch a comprehensive pilot project, but to tackle growing poverty in our communities and to begin planning for a future Welsh tax and benefit system, with the UBI (Universal Basic Income ) in his heart.”


Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds, who has campaigned for the introduction of UBI trials, said: ‘While I would have liked to see a larger pilot, today’s announcement is a step important in the right direction and will be one of the most generous trials we have seen in the world.

“However, I would also like to see the Welsh Government explain how they intend to promote the uptake of the scheme. We know that, unfortunately, people leaving care have very little use of existing government support schemes, so we need to ensure that this opportunity is effectively promoted to those who are entitled to it.

The pilot will run for at least three years, with each cohort member receiving a basic income payment of £1,600 per month for 24 months starting the month after their 18th birthday.

The pilot will begin in the next financial year and the Welsh Government expects over 500 young people will be eligible to join the scheme.

Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt said the aim was to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are supported.

‘We know we are in the midst of a cost of living crisis and we are determined to constantly look for the best way to support people living in poverty in Wales,’ she said.

“People leaving care have the right to be properly supported as they grow into independent young adults. It is also important to note that this policy is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), underlining our commitment to strengthening the rights of children and young people in Wales.

“Yet too many young people leaving care continue to face significant barriers to making a successful transition to adulthood. Our Basic Income pilot project is an exciting project aimed at bringing financial stability to a generation of young people who need it most.

“The pilot will build on the existing support available to children in care in Wales and ensure that young people who take part in this pilot project receive all the support they need to give them the best possible chance of finding their own life. path in life and transitioning out of better, easier and more positive care.

“We are fully committed to supporting people living in poverty, ensuring that they receive adequate financial support so that everyone in Wales can live a happy and healthy life.”

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