Could Basic Income end poverty in Wales forever?

The pandemic has shown that our welfare system is not fit for purpose.

Millions have fallen through the gaps in the UK government’s support packages, and after decades of under-investment from Westminster, Wales is falling even further behind the rest of Britain. Covid-19 has hit the country particularly hard, and has left many families facing poverty and hardship for the first time.

Even before this crisis began, in-work poverty was soaring across Wales. In 2018, there were more children living in poverty in working households than in households without work – 67% living in relative income poverty were in households where at least one person worked. We need to build more resilient communities and give everyone the means to rebuild their lives after lockdown ends.

A Universal Basic Income, or UBI for short, could be a big part of the solution.

UBI is a regular and unconditional payment given to everyone regardless of their income, wealth or work. We believe that a UBI would guarantee everyone the right to basic financial security by providing a regular income boost for millions of people across Britain.

A Basic Income would give everyone the resources they need to thrive, and would transform our social security system with a scheme fit for the 21st century – one that would allow everyone to develop their talents.

Support is growing across the country for UBI. A new group, UBI Lab Wales, are campaigning for Basic Income pilots to be set up across the country to see what impact it could have on poverty, health and the local economy.

Ahead of the Senedd elections on 6 May, UBI Lab Wales are asking candidates to sign a pledge backing Basic Income pilots. So far over 100 candidates from five parties have signed the pledge, including dozens of current Senedd members. Now UBI Lab Wales want members of the public to add their name in support of Basic Income pilots.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the NHS was born in Wales with the aim of guaranteeing healthcare to everyone. A Universal Basic Income could be our generation’s NHS and you could be part of making that happen. Sign the pledge below, calling on Senedd candidates to back a Basic Income.

Sam Gregory is Co-Founder of the UBI Lab Network