A Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme is to be trialed by the Welsh government, meaning adults, regardless of their means, will receive a regular sum of money to cover the basic cost of living.
The scheme has been trialed around the world, including in Finland, where 2,000 unemployed people were paid €560 per month for two years.
Earlier this year Gwynedd Councillors called for the Welsh government to pilot the Universal Basic Income scheme in the county of Gwynedd, a call now backed by one of the local Senedd Members.
Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru Senedd Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, believes that “UBI has the potential to tackle deep rooted income inequality in Wales.”
He said; “I support Gwynedd Council’s call to host Wales’ Universal Basic Income pilot scheme. With the economic uncertainty which will ensue the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the fallout from Brexit, there has never been a better time to trial this radical idea.
“A Universal Basic Income would allow everyone to receive a uniform, flat-rate payment. It would have the dual benefit of providing economic stimulus at a time of grave uncertainty.
“In light of the pandemic, more and more people are realising the insufficiency of the UK’s broken welfare system. A radical shake up is needed.
“The Government’s proposed UBI trial is not UBI, but rather a Basic Income Trial. In order to have a meaningful trial into Universal Basic Income they must look at broadening those included in the trial, and Gwynedd would be a perfect area to carry out the trial.”
Glyder Ward Councillor for Bangor, Elin Walker Jones explains: “The UBI movement is gaining momentum across Wales with the emergence of the UBI Lab Cymru researching practical measures and the viability of introducing a basic income for everyone. Gwynedd, would be an ideal county to trial such a pilot scheme.
“COVID-19 has shown that providing people with financial security does not encourage fecklessness or laziness. What it does is it gives people the freedom to care for their loved ones, to support their communities and to search for training and personal development opportunities.”