Care leavers in Wales are getting ready to receive their first universal basic income payment of £1,600 a month as part of a new pilot.
The Welsh government will be putting the no-strings-attached money into the bank accounts of about 500 18-year-olds, to give young people who have been in the care system a “safety blanket” as they enter adulthood.
Universal basic income is a regular payment given to everyone in society to create a minimum income floor, however the Welsh government have defined their pilot to those who have been in care, offering a yearly income similar to that of the living wage of £19,000.
Launching the pilot, Jane Hutt, Welsh minister for social justice, said the Welsh government had chosen care leavers to be the subjects of the UBI trial “because of the unique set of challenges they face”.
Research has shown that when young people leave the care system, they are at greater risk of homelessness and mental health problems.
“By supporting this group with the security of a regular, guaranteed and unconditional monthly income as they leave care, we hope we will allow them to consider their lives beyond day-to-day concerns and look to their future,” Hutt continued.