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Tories criticise Welsh Government’s £1600 a month care leavers basic income trial

16 Feb 2022 3 minute read
Conservative MS Joel James

The Tories have criticised the Welsh Government’s plan for a £1600 a month basic income pilot for care leavers in Wales.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Social Partnership, Joel James MS, said that the Welsh Government is “not even close to living in reality with this trial”.

He insisted that he “wholeheartedly” supports “helping the poorest and most vulnerable in our country”, but argued that basic income “fails to incentivise work”, and is a “waste of public money”.

All young people leaving care who turn 18 during a 12 month period, across all local authority areas, will be offered the opportunity to take part in the pilot.

It will run for a minimum of three years with each member of the cohort receiving a basic income payment of £1600 per month for a duration of 24 months from the month after their 18th birthday.

The pilot will begin during the next financial year and the Welsh Government anticipate over 500 young people will be eligible to join the scheme.

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said that the aim was to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are supported.

Joel James said: “Whilst I wholeheartedly support helping the poorest and most vulnerable in our country, the Labour Government is not even close to living in reality with this trial.

“Countless trials from across the globe have found Basic Income does not have the expected outcomes as it fails to incentivise work and proves time after time to be a waste of public money.

“If rolled-out across the board with every adult in Wales receiving £1,600 a month it would cost nearly £50 billion a year, and at the same time reward the wealthiest in society rather than helping those who need it most.

“Our NHS is at breaking point and our economy is in a fragile state, but instead of tackling those issues head-on, Labour are more interested in Basic Income – which will cost the country an absolute fortune.”

‘Cost of living crisis’ 

Jane Hutt said: “We know we’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis and we’re determined to continually look at how best to support individuals in Wales who live in poverty.

“Care leavers have a right to be properly supported as they develop into independent young adults. It’s also important to note that this policy is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), emphasising our commitment to strengthening the rights of children and young people in Wales.

“Yet, too many young people leaving care continue to face significant barriers to achieving a successful transition into adulthood. Our Basic Income pilot is an exciting project to deliver financial stability for a generation of young people that need it most.

“The pilot will build on the existing support offered to looked after children in Wales and ensure young people who take part in this pilot get all the support they need to give them the best possible chance to make their way in life and the transition out of care better, easier and more positive.

“We are fully committed to supporting those living in poverty, ensuring they receive adequate financial support so that everyone in Wales can live happy and healthy lives.”


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Erisian
Erisian
7 months ago

How strange. I would have thought they’d be over the moon with delight.

P.S.
We could have worked this out for ourselves, just as surely as the half completed deep-thought deduced the existance of rice pudding and income tax!

Last edited 7 months ago by Erisian
Quornby
Quornby
7 months ago

Tories should not be allowed to pose in front of the Senedd that they would like so much to destroy.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
7 months ago

When will they criticise the billions the tories lost on PPE, us having to pay for Englands rail network, us subsidising the queens n***e sons payoff. We are suffering under English rule and they want to deny carers help. Absolute pigs

Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
7 months ago

First a question: Given that Wales is, whether one likes it or not, part of the”United Kingdom” and that in the present state of affairs the economy of Wales, through no fault of its own democratically elected Senedd, is attached to that of the whims of the Westminster parliamentary system and those who gain power within it, who is it that is destroying the economy in the United Kingdom at the present time? ….actually another question too: Who is trying to sell the NHS off to the U.S. health industry and underfunding it? ….Secondly, it is easy to be a… Read more »

Lyn Thomas
Lyn Thomas
7 months ago

regardless if this is a UBI trial, as a resettlement grant to people who are leaving the care system at 18, who by definition, do not have family support, this is a very welcome move. It gives a chance for some stability and will help people who otherwise would struggle. No wonder the tories don’t like it, btw its taxable – so some of it is clawed back

Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
7 months ago
Reply to  Lyn Thomas

Well put.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
7 months ago

Besides lying about UBI pilots not being value for money does JJ expect us to forget that the wealthiest would pay 45% tax on this income and even I as an OAP would pay 20% of it straight back so £50Bn a year is another lie …. unless he is even more stupid than he looks?
I think it may be the latter since this UBI is not unconditional but aimed at a limited demographic that just happens to cost society the most.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
7 months ago

What a typical Tory reaction. Probably envious that his own party at Westminster are behind Wales in implementing such policy.

Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
7 months ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

Its not even that, they would NEVER implement such a policy.

Gareth
Gareth
7 months ago

From a Tory point of view, the problem seems to be, not the money paid out, but who it is going to. Not a peep from them about the £37 Billion test app failure, or the Billions written off resulting from fraud during the great PPE scandal, or the flat decorating saga, but money going to ordinary people , that just wont do, and needs criticism Post-haste. Now, money to friends and family, that’s different.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Elsewhere I have commented about my concerns about this trial. However to hear a Tory whinging about a spot of redistribution is surprising. The fundamental core of present day Toryism is mass redistribution -taking wealth and value out of the public purse, taking money from ordinary families by jacking up commodity prices and transferring the lot ( or is that loot?) into the coffers of the uber-rich and large corporates in London and further afield. Mr James is obviously worried that this £1600 may be spent in a way which doesn’t benefit those peddlers of goods and services who are… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
7 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Clywch Clywch !!!

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
7 months ago

These young people, who form part of this pilot scheme, are worthy of as much support as Wales can provide; this is an excellent scheme and is worthy of more respect than that shown by Joel James.
Joel James is someone who once claimed 40p for some photocopying (26/72021 – https://allowances.assembly.wales/), says it all doesn’t it?!

Dave
Dave
7 months ago

Tory’s only want to help their mates as we have seen with PPE contracts, what I find pathetic is the view that UBI dis-incentivises work and at the same time they say that people are languishing at home on benefits, both can’t be true for either argument to stand. Even Trump introduced UBI in USA.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago

The Nasty Party.

Cynan
Cynan
7 months ago

You could have stopped that headline at Tories Criticise Welsh

Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
7 months ago

“What’s that? Money? Being given away?! TO PEOPLE WHO AREN’T LOBBYING! To people who aren’t even my relatives?! A DISGRACE AND A WASTE…..now, excuse me, I need to get down the Garrick to meet my old school chum Biffo Smith, …yes I did him a little favour, got him in the PPE Fastlane and now he stands me a dinner every Wednesday and employs my nephew as a corporate advisor..”

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