Basic income pilot giving young people £1,600 a month launches

The funding in Wales is aimed at helping support the transition to adult life - as Scotland considers similar proposals.

Basic income pilot scheme giving young people £1,600 a month launched in Wales iStock
The payments will be offered from July 1.

A scheme to provide young people leaving care with a basic income has been launched in Wales – as Scotland considers similar proposals.

The Welsh Government will offer £1,600 each month, before tax, for two years to more than 500 people leaving care.

It is hoped that the funding, which will begin to be offered from July 1, will help to support young people as they make the transition to adult life.

At a cost of £20m, the pilot will run for three years before being evaluated to examine the impact it has had on the lives of those involved.

The Scottish Government began work last year to introduce a minimum income guarantee.

Although similar to a universal basic income, the minimum income guarantee would be means tested and targeted to those on low incomes.

It would also recognise the role that business has to play in raising incomes, rather than just the welfare state.

On Tuesday, the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford met with people taking part in the pilot and young people who have been in care, as the scheme was launched.

“We want all our young people to have the best possible chance in life and fulfil their full potential, said Drakeford.

“The state is the guardian of people leaving care and so has a real obligation to support them as they start their adult life.

“Our focus will be on opening up their world to all its possibilities and create an independence from services as their lives develop.

“Many of those involved in this pilot don’t have the support lots of people – myself included – have been lucky enough to enjoy as we started out on our path to adulthood.

“Our radical initiative will not only improve the lives of those taking part in the pilot, but will reap rewards for the rest of Welsh society.

“If we succeed in what we are attempting today this will be just the first step in what could be a journey that benefits generations to come.”