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Plaid Cymru calls for universal basic income

THE Welsh government must introduce a universal basic income, Plaid Cymru urged yesterday, as frustration grew over Westminster’s failure to include self-employed workers in its measures to protect wages during the coronavirus pandemic.

Plaid leader Adam Price called for a basic income to be introduced temporarily for one month to give self-employed workers security.

“The coronavirus isn’t just a health crisis – it’s an economic crisis,” he said.

“Millions of people — particularly the self-employed, freelancers, sole traders and those working in the gig economy or on zero-hours contracts — are facing a catastrophic loss of income due to the crisis, which will now be exacerbated by the lockdown.

“What’s lacking is what people urgently need: certainty that they can pay their bills, certainty that they will be able to put food on the table and certainty that they will get through this.”

He said the measure in Wales would cost £247 million a month, paying 210,000 workers £1,180 a month.

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