The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford MS and the Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt MS will join an Open University Economics seminar next month to discuss the Welsh Government’s radical pilot of a basic income for care leavers.
Prof Drakeford and Ms Hutt will discuss how the pilot came about and the impact it could have on the participants’ lives.
The pilot, which began in July this year, will see 500 young care leavers receive a monthly basic pre-tax income of £1,600, with the aim of supporting them to “live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives.”
The concept of a form of universal basic income (UBI) is hundreds of years old, the modern version of which provides people with a regular, no-questions-asked income. It is argued that it reduces poverty and helps to redistribute wealth.
The Welsh Government’s pilot is not a UBI in pure terms but will examine the benefits of a basic income for a particular group of more vulnerable people. The Welsh Government committed to piloting an approaching to a UBI in its 2021 Programme for Government.
The seminar will “bring alive” aspects of the module students are studying.
Dr Rajiv Prabhakar, Senior Lecturer in Personal Finance, will be chairing the event. He said:
“We’re thrilled that both the First Minister and the Social Justice Minister have agreed to speak at this OU Economics seminar.
“This is particularly exciting for us because it brings alive some of the things that OU students are learning about in the Economics curriculum – things like personal finance and what the concept of a universal basic income is.
“This special seminar will give students an opportunity to hear about a real-world example of things they’re studying.”
Vicky Jones, Deputy Director of The Open University in Wales, said:
“We’re very grateful to the First Minister and the Social Justice Minister for agreeing to take part in this exciting seminar.
“The Welsh Government’s basic income pilot is one of most distinctive innovations of recent years, and it marks a point of significant divergence in public policy.
“As a University which serves and operates in all four countries of the UK, we’re very proud to be adding to the conversation around this important subject.”
The event will be hosted online and is free to attend.View details about the event.