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‘Economically illiterate’ Mark Drakeford a ‘hero for the work-shy’ claims Telegraph

29 Jun 2022 5 minute read
Mark Drakeford picture by Ben Birchall / PA Wire.

The Telegraph newspaper has declared Mark Drakeford “economically illiterate” and a “hero” for “work-shy” young people.

In an opinion piece penned by one of their journalists, the Conservative-leaning newspaper took aim at the Welsh Government’s new Basic Income pilot scheme.

From Friday, more than 500 people leaving care in Wales will be offered £1,600 each month before tax for two years to support them as they make the transition to adult life.

The £20 million pilot, which will run for three years, will be evaluated to carefully examine its effect on the lives of those involved, the Welsh Government have said.

But the Telegraph condemned the scheme as reflecting “a post-Covid attitude that says life, and not work, should pay”.

The article’s author Kara Kennedy said that UBI had already been piloted during lockdown, with millions receiving furlough payments. The result had been “a cost of living crisis and a workforce unwilling to return to the office to the detriment of our already-low productivity rate,” she said.

In launching the scheme aimed at those leaving care, Mark Drakeford said that “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”.

But Kara Kennedy said that while “care leavers deserve support and advice,” the pilot scheme was not “really about them”.

“Rather, it is an attempt to show that everyone can receive large sums of cash without doing anything in return,” she said. “It isn’t just economically illiterate, it is social betrayal.

“For people like me, who come from modest backgrounds, the best way to progress is through work. You get a job, work hard and move up the socioeconomic ladder. ”

She added: “One of the long hangovers of lockdown is that a large section of society, in all four nations of the UK, has bought into the arrogant notion that life itself – and not work – should pay.

“Independence and fulfilment have been downgraded in place of dependence and self-absorption.”

‘Possibilities’

The Welsh Government pilot will be limited to care leavers who reach their 18th birthday between July 1 2022 and June 30 2023.

It will run for three years with each person taking part receiving the basic income payment for 24 months from the month after their 18th birthday.

And participants can choose whether to receive the money monthly or fortnightly.

First Minister Mark Drakeford, who launched the scheme, said: “We want all our young people to have the best possible chance in life and fulfil their full potential.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

Those taking part in the pilot will also receive individual advice and support to help them manage their finances and develop their financial and budgeting skills.

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt added: “We’re in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis like no other and we therefore need new ways of supporting people who are most in need.

“Our Basic Income pilot is an incredibly exciting project giving financial stability to a generation of young people.

“Too many people leaving care face huge barriers to achieving their hopes and ambitions – such as problems with getting a safe and stable home, to securing a job and building a fulfilling career.

“This scheme will help people live a life free of such barriers and limitations.

“We will carefully evaluate the lessons learnt from the pilot. Listening to everyone who takes part will be crucial in determining the success of this globally ambitious project.

“We will examine whether Basic Income is an efficient way to support society’s most vulnerable and not only benefit the individual, but wider society too.”

‘Free money’

The pilot was also criticised by the Welsh Conservatives, who said it was “free money” offering no long-term solutions.

Joel James, shadow minister for social partnership, said: “It’s been proven time and again that so-called Universal Basic Income doesn’t work.

“Look at Finland, who ditched their scheme after two years in favour of a new scheme that encouraged people to actually take up employment or training.

“We recognise that this is a vulnerable group and they need extra support, but this is completely the wrong way to go about it and could well create more problems than it solves.

“It’s typical Labour, but it’s obvious that giving out free money won’t be a quick fix.”


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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

So carer leavers are workshy? What a scumbag rag. How dare they. I thought the job of a newspaper was to tell the news, not attack children for something that rag hasn’t read over properly. What a disgrace.

Last edited 1 month ago by GW Atkinson
The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

Describing the torygraph as conservative leaning is a bit naive, They are the broadsheet equivalent of the daily mail.
What they’re saying here is, the Welsh are stupid and kids leaving care should just be kicked out and be left to rot on the streets.

aled rees
aled rees
1 month ago

what a nasty rag of a paper.
maybe in two years time this will be copied by westminster.will be a great idea then no doubt.

James
James
1 month ago

The person who wrote the article has only been working as a “journalist” for 12 months (although I’m not sure working for the Daily Express and then Telegraph really makes you a journalist). Not sure how they are qualified to talk about economic illiteracy, maybe they’ve got a GCSE in it?! Best to ignore the trolls, this is clickbait with the aim of launching some kind of profile as a right-wing rent-a-gob.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

I have reached the point where I no longer care what these scumbag rags print or think. Playing to their ultra right audience, while looking down on and denigrating those who they deem “not one of us”. Picking on the unfortunate in society who can not answer back, has become the norm for this type of gutter press. The sorry state of journalism in the main UK press, is a reflection of the immoral, corrupt, heartless and gutless UK gov. I am now beginning to think it is not Meibion Glyndwr we need, but Glyndwr himself, to act on our… Read more »

Kurt Constable
Kurt Constable
1 month ago

If we lived by the Torygraphs ideals. It would be an upside down pyramid of more managers over the fewer workers as the push to climb for everyone cannot be viable in truth .People should be allowed to awaken to work should always pay. The concept of the basic income also helps those who do roles like childcare, carers. There is more to society than the relentless drive of capitalism for the few.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

The trouble with right wing papers is that they are fanatical Thatcherites. Jobs, jobs, jobs, basically you live to work rather than you work to live. The Tories don’t think of the wellbeing of the populace just what profits the populace can generate for them and their business buddies. Some countries in the world, like New Zealand and Norway, are now beginning to move away from this ethos of neverending growth and a purely business orientated society. They are beginning to realise that the quality of life of their citizens is more important and a work work work growth growth… Read more »

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

You jest, sir? Norway has an enormous sovereign wealth fund. Poland recently asked ’em for a sub, giving their contribution to housing Ukranians, and so on.
But crickets…….

Last edited 1 month ago by I.Humphrys
Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

I see people picking up these ‘usual suspect’ newspapers and I look at them thinking it would be less embarrassing to be caught stark naked on Queen St at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. They should order them quietly and collect them under plain wrap really but they have no shame.

Cofid
Cofid
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Do you see anyone in Cymru buying the offensive rag? Maybe publicly shame them and those who sell it here?

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Oh dear the Telegraph at it again. Once the paper of the intelligent end of the right wing spectrum that worked quite well without hysteria, now a bleating “foaming round the mouth” rag with nothing to distinguish it from the Sun, Mail and Express. I might happen to share some of the concerns about Drakeford’s economics strategy ( if there is such a thing !) but the criticism needs to be couched in data rational terms not the kind of undiluted b0ll0x churned out in this case. We are now at a point where these rags are scribbling to feed… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

The Tory toilet paper Telegraph are abhorrent. I expect no better from a paper the Devil himself would subscribe to.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago

The first party in Cymru to talk UBI was Gwlad. Those at Gwlad seem to be far more money-wise than Plaid or Labour (ok, barring a few members).
Leaders of Cymru should have some economics education?

Last edited 1 month ago by I.Humphrys
Dave
Dave
1 month ago

The Telegraph Journalists are a funny lot, don’t they realise that Wales is the only predominantly exporting nation in the UK? do they realise that we have achieved this within an economic model that advantages an importing nation? illiterate is a word that applies to them, not us. This is why we need #IndyWales.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Free money? I think the Tories are talking about subsidised House of Commons dinners and bar.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

‘ Conservative leaning ‘ 🗞 newspaper!! Perhaps 🤔 another description might fit better ?

Answers on a postcard

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago

The UK government is so economically literate it’s been running a deficit in Wales for decades. So masterful are they of economic matters that their policies make Welsh productivity 30% lower than the UK average, average wages the lowest in the UK, put 50% of our population in or on the cusp of poverty. We are truly blessed by their superior economics.

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
1 month ago

I read the newspapers online cannot read the Tory rag called telegraph you have to pay but the other tory rags are bad express is really bad but the BEONO daily mail is full of hate for anything not tory or english the comments on there are racist from the public yet they print them and then the ultimate bog paper the sun

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
1 month ago

The Conservative way, ably supported by right wing rags like this one, staffed mainly by ex public school types like this novice. Their attitude is ‘kick ’em when their down’ and keep them down’ No desire to allow people to thrive, whatever their circumstances. This lot would do Attila the Hun proud! They are totally self serving and heartless.

Popsie
1 month ago

Free press is alive and kicking Mark Drakeford.

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