You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Wales to trial universal basic income scheme

Written by: Emma Lunn
Under the pilot scheme everyone, regardless of age, wealth or job, will receive a monthly untaxed payment.

Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford said the pilot would “see whether the promises that basic income holds out are genuinely delivered” in people’s lives. He said a pilot would “need to be carefully designed to make sure that it is genuinely adding income for the group of people we are able to work with”.

He added: “It’ll have to be a pilot because we don’t have all the powers in our own hands to do it on our own.

“It’ll have to be carefully crafted to make sure that it is affordable and that it does it within the powers available to the Senedd. We need to make an early start on designing the pilot to make sure that we have the best chance of operating a pilot that allows us to draw the conclusions from it that we would all want to see.”

What is basic income?

Basic income schemes give every citizen a fixed sum at periodic intervals, whether they are employed or not, or have savings. The idea is that this money is enough to live on, but the money can be spent however the individual chooses.

Supporters of basic income schemes say the money provides a safety net for people who are unemployed or have irregular work. In other cases, people would be able to study or retrain, safe in the knowledge that they would have enough money to maintain a decent standard of living.

Other benefits of basic income schemes include less bureaucracy and being cheap to administer as means-tested benefit schemes are notoriously complex and labour intensive to run. Basic income schemes can also reward unpaid contributions such as childcare or other caring responsibilities.

Various versions of basic income schemes have been trialled in other countries. For example, in Finland 2,000 unemployed people were paid €560 (£480) per month for two years. Researchers found the scheme made people happier and less stressed, but didn’t help them find work.

Wales’ future generations commissioner Sophie Howe said: “Signalling basic income as a priority for the new government is an incredibly significant commitment by the first minister to tackling Wales’ poverty and health inequalities – which cause lasting damage to the health and prospects of individuals, families and communities.

“It’s a huge moment for the campaign, which I’ve been proud to be a part of, and the growing support for a fairer way of allowing people to meet their basic needs.

“The current system isn’t working – Wales’ commitment to exploring a basic income once again proves it’s often the small countries that can be world leading and make the biggest changes.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

It’s time to get your finances in shape, and moving your cash savings to a higher paying deal is a good plac...

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

Few people had heard of ‘furlough’ before March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic thrust the idea of bein...

The experts’ guide to sorting out your personal finances in 2021

From opting to ‘low spend’ months to imposing your own ‘cooling-off period’, industry experts reveal t...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week