WALES' youngest Member of the Senedd called on Welsh Government to trial a Universal Basic Income in a bid to eradicate poverty.

Jack Sargeant, MS for Alyn and Deeside, hosted an individual Member debate in the Welsh Parliament, calling for the Welsh Government to establish a Universal Basic Income (UBI) trial for Wales and lobby the UK Government for funding to establish a UK Wales-wide UBI.

The debate has been called in recognition of increasing numbers of people forced into poverty by the current pandemic, long-term wage stagnation and the onset of automation. A UBI would ensure everyone is able to afford the necessary basics, eradicating homelessness, food bank reliance and many other challenges our society faces today.

Speaking before the debate, Jack Sargeant said: "I'm pleased to have this opportunity to discuss how we move forward from the current crisis in a way that can positively improve people's lives."

"Long before Covid, poverty has been endemic in our society. Too many people have suffered for too long and now is the time for change."

During his speech on Wednesday, September 30, Mr Sargeant explained his reasons for becoming interesting in a UBI for Wales.

He said: "As always, the people in the forefront of my mind were the amazing residents of Alyn and Deeside. My community has seen economic calamity before, my generation grew up in the shadow of the huge job losses at Shotton Steel. Still the biggest single redundancy in Western Europe.

"This devastating event could be repeated again across a whole range of industries due to automation job losses. This time the government need to be working for us not against us.

"A trial in Canada demonstrated that Young people are more likely to stay in training. A study in Finland demonstrated that people in receipt of a UBU are more likely to work. This is in contrast to Universal Credit that actively punishes work.

"I will leave you with this. If a market economy is to thrive, it needs all its citizens to be able to participate in it. It needs them to be able to absorb the coming shocks and be homeowners, consumers, creators and entrepreneurs.

"If we are to give them the space to take responsibility and ensure they can be this then we are going to need a much better safety net a kinder safety net. That net is a UBI."

The motion was passed by members.