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Welsh Tories launch fresh attack on scheme for young care leavers

03 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies. Picture by Matthew Horwood.

Emily Price

The Welsh Conservatives have launched a fresh attack on a scheme which pays young care leavers in Wales £1,600 a month.

The Welsh Government launched the Basic Income for Care Leavers pilot in July 2022.

The trial involved paying £1,600 each every month to a group of 635 care leavers for the first 24 months of leaving the care system.

It aims to address the challenges faced by young people leaving local authority care or foster care and transitioning into adulthood.

The pilot will run until May this year.

‘Pull factor’

The Tories have been criticised for characterising the scheme as a hand-out for “illegal migrants” despite it focusing on all care leavers in Wales.

Leader of the Tory Senedd Group Andrew RT Davies says it will “create an even bigger pull factor to bring people across the Channel”.

The Welsh Government says the scheme does include a small number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children who were being looked after by a local authority up until the age of 18.

Although it has not yet confirmed how many young asylum seekers leave care on average every year, a Welsh Government source says the number is “a very small proportion of those taking part in the pilot”.

The Welsh Government says it makes “no apology” for giving care leavers the best possible start in life.

‘Nonsensical’

In a fresh attack on Tuesday (April 2), the Welsh Tory leader told the Daily Express: “Illegal migrants should not be getting a monthly payment in Wales, and this policy from Labour is nonsensical.

“The universal basic income scheme is a colossal waste of tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money and the eligibility of illegal migrants will act as an unacceptable pull factor to the benefit of evil people smugglers.

“Vaughan Gething should swallow his pride, admit this policy was a failure, and focus on the Welsh people’s priorities.”

A later post on the Welsh Conservatives X page stated: “Illegal migrants should not be getting a monthly payment in Wales. This policy from Labour is nonsensical, UBI is a colossal waste of nearly £30 million. Vaughan Gething should swallow his pride, admit this policy was a failure & focus on the Welsh people’s priorities.”

It is expected to be several years before the evaluation of the scheme is completed.

This is because the research plan will track the impact of the pilot on the care leavers lives now, as well as the next few years as they continue into adulthood.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are running a small pilot project to give a basic income to some young people leaving the care system in Wales.

“Amongst them are a handful of young people who are in the care of a local authority because they came to Wales from some of the most war-torn places on the face of the planet.

“They are not illegal migrants – they are unaccompanied children who arrived in Wales with nobody and with nothing. We make no apology for trying to give them the best possible start in life.”


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Gareth
Gareth
7 days ago

While their masters in London attack the homeless and threaten fines and imprisonment, for smelling bad on the streets, Mr R T “Blanket ” Davies and his motley crew, attempt to keep pace, with attacks on children leaving care homes. Attack the most vulnerable in society to conceal your lack of, not only alternative plans, but lack of human grace and compassion.

Alwyn
Alwyn
6 days ago

Andrew RT Davies’ usual hate campaign against the minute number of 16-year-old asylum seekers, who had no say in their illegal transportation into Wales

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 days ago

Welsh Government spends £30m to give youngsters a better start in life. Tories spend £300m human trafficking vulnerable people to an unsafe country which may end their lives.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
6 days ago

I’m proud to live in a country willing to carry out a pilot scheme providing a basic income to care leavers (pushed out at sixteen with very little especially in lloegr). I hope the results prove it is worthwhile continuing with it.

I’d prefer my taxes go towards this instead of weapons and bombs that are being used against Yemeni and Palestinians!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 days ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

I too am proud as you are and I recall when I was sixteen setting out on seeking work post school. It was terrifying especially when I saw the size of the Giro cheque. That certainly put the boot up my butt to find a way ahead and get on with it. By the way, I came from a supportive and stable home so I have no problem with our national government supporting those who did not have what I had.

Richard 1
Richard 1
6 days ago

In their anxiety about losing votes to even more loopy people proposing even more fascistic policies, sensible tories must realise that PR offers them a better chance of electoral survival — strange bedfellows though they’ll be!

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
6 days ago

Typical tory, no empathy, compassion or understanding of the difficulties facing care leavers.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 days ago

Typical Tory crap. As a foster parent I know what a god send this payment has been. If there are immigrants involved – they deserve this money as much as anybody else. The biggest detriment to Cymru are not these people seeking a better life – but the Conservative party.

Jeff
Jeff
6 days ago

Yet he wants us to fund farmers to the exclusion of other people.

I notice he is on the “them foreigners terk our jerbs!” band wagon. Braverman and 30p will be proud of him.

Is his still BFF with 30p or has Gullis taken over getting his BFF energy? If Gullis coming to Wales for a xmas party and attend politics and a pint grumbling sessions?

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