Staf wants to speak to young people about the potential for Universal Basic Income to make sure all care leavers have enough money to have a good life. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Universal Basic Income?

While it can be called lots of things, such as Universal Basic Income, Guaranteed Income, Citizens’ Basic Income, it all comes down to the same thing…It’s a cash payment, made regularly to everyone from the government without any conditions.

To be a Universal Basic Income there are five criteria that the scheme has to meet:

  1. Paid in cash
  2. Paid regularly
  3. No conditions (and no sanctions)
  4. Paid to individuals (not households)
  5. Paid to everyone without any means test

Why is Staf talking about Universal Basic Income?

As a society, we recognise that care leavers have a right to care and love. Yet too many young people leaving care continue to face significant barriers to achieving a successful transition into adulthood that, in turn, make them more vulnerable to poverty.

The Independent Care Review found that care-experienced young people are one and a half times more likely to have financial difficulties and, on average, earn three quarters of the salaries of their peers.

And the pandemic has shed new light on these issues. We asked our member organisations and young people involved in our groups about the impact of the pandemic. They raised concerns about mental health, social isolation, digital exclusion, food poverty and financial wellbeing.

What’s Staf done so far?

We have begun a new conversation with young people on their financial concerns and whether a care leaver Basic Income is something they would support.

We’re working with RSA Scotland and Aberlour and we’ve already held two meetings with young people. We’ve learned more about the financial issues care leavers face; how UBI could help; and the issues that would need to be overcome.

What’s next?

Staf plan to have a short scoping project to co-design a care leaver Basic Income pilot with care leavers. We want to as many young people as possible to input into that conversation. We’re holding a conversation on 21 December via Zoom. If you want to take part or if you think the young people you support will want to join the conversation contact our Policy and Communications Manager, Liam Furby.