Universal Basic Income pilot launched in Wales – How much could be paid out?

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Universal Basic Income pilot would “see whether the promises that basic income holds out are genuinely delivered” in people’s lives. The plan would see individuals in Wales getting an unconditional monthly stipend from the Government.

Various versions of UBI schemes have previously been trialled around the world, but this pilot will be the first of its kind in the UK.

Researchers in Finland found the scheme left those who received the payments happier and less stressed.

The pilot was part of the Welsh Labour manifesto and is also supported by Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats.

Wales’ future generations commissioner has said she is “delighted” with the plan for the pilot.

How much is being offered?

How much the pilot scheme will be giving to the lucky recipients has not yet been revealed.

However, a look at previous trials across the world could indicate how much is paid out – and the results vary.

Finland ran a two-year universal basic income pilot from 2017 to 2018, in which the Government gave €560 (£482) per month to 2,000 unemployed people aged between 25 and 58.

Spain also held a trial run in 2017, with the “B-MINCOME” experiment handing out up to $1,968 per month to 1,000 households in Barcelona’s poorest districts.

The same year, the Netherlands kicked off a basic income study, handing £1,050 per month to 250 recipients – with some having to do volunteer work for the cash, while for others it was unconditional.

In Alaska, it’s not called a universal basic income but the state gives each resident a cheque every year, worth between $1,000 and $2,000.

Back in Wales, it is believed the plans are still in the planning stage, so how much will be paid out is likely not decided yet.

Mr Drakeford 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.”

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