The Welsh Government are offering care leavers who turn 18 between July 2022 and June 2023 the opportunity to take part in a basic income pilot. Those who take part will receive £1,600 before tax per month for two years after their 18th birthday. It is hoped that the payments will support care leavers during their transition to independence and promote their health, wellbeing, and ability to engage in education, employment, and training.  


Basic income schemes have been trialled in a number of ways around the world in recent years, but this scheme is the most generous to date. The evaluation will increase our understanding of the impact and mechanisms of basic income provision and will explore a range of health and social impacts of the scheme alongside the impact on income, work and study.

The Welsh Government have commissioned a four-year evaluation of the pilot. The evaluation started in November 2022 and is due to end in November 2026. Professor Sally Holland and David Westlake at the CASCADE research centre in Cardiff University are leading the evaluation, alongside colleagues at Kings College London, University of Oxford, University of York, Northumbria University, and the Centre for Homelessness Impact. The evaluation aims to:

  • Test whether the Welsh Basic Income Pilot has an impact on intended outcomes and estimate how much of an effect it has.
  • Understand how and why the Welsh Basic Income Pilot works, for whom and under which circumstances.
  • Identify, measure and value the costs and outcomes of the Welsh Basic Income Pilot to calculate its cost effectiveness.

The evaluation has five work packages:

Work packageOverviewLead
(1)   Co-productionThe team will regularly consult with a group of care experienced young people to inform the design and methods of the evaluation, interpret the findings, and develop recommendations.     Professor Sally Holland at Cardiff University.
(2)   Theory enhancementA theory will be developed to describe how, why, and for whom the pilot works. The theory will be based on the existing literature and data collected in work packages 3-5.David Westlake at Cardiff University.
(3)   Impact evaluationThis will evaluate the impact of the pilot on the intended outcomes. Survey and administrative data will be used to compare outcomes for young people who are eligible for the pilot with young people who turn 18 the following year.   Professor Michael Sanders at Kings College London.
(4)   Implementation and process evaluationThis will explore how the pilot has been implemented, experienced, and integrated into other forms of support for care leavers in Wales. It will draw on interviews and observations with young people and their nominated adult supporters, focus groups with professionals, and administrative data.David Westlake and Dr Louise Roberts at Cardiff University.
(5)   Economic evaluationThis will identify, measure, and value the costs and outcomes of the pilot. It will use survey and administrative data.Dr Elizabeth-Ann Schroeder at the University of Oxford.

Activities and Methods

This is a large and complex evaluation. Our overall design is a quasi-experimental impact and value-for-money evaluation, with a multi-method implementation and process evaluation. The evaluation uses a suite of quasi-experimental approaches, which will enable triangulation between multiple data sources. Through this we aim to provide a robust account of the difference Basic Income makes to care leavers in Wales.

Our evaluation is structured around the following five work packages:

  1. Co-production
  2. Theory enhancement
  3. Impact evaluation and data linkage framework development
  4. Implementation and process evaluation
  5. Economic evaluation


The findings from the evaluation will report on the implementation, impact, and cost-effectiveness of the Welsh Basic Income Pilot and inform basic income policy worldwide.  

Our interim report has now been published and can be viewed on the Welsh Government website

This Project is ongoing

Lead Person

Principal InvestigatorDavid Westlake
Principal InvestigatorProfessor Sally Holland

Academics and Researchers

Co-investigatorProfessor Michael SandersKings College London
Co-investigatorDr Elizabeth-Ann SchroederUniversity of Oxford
Co-investigatorProfessor Kate PickettUniversity of York
Co-applicantProfessor Stavros PetrouEconomic evaluation , University of Oxford
Co-applicantDr. Louise RobertsLeaving care, Cardiff University
Co-applicantDr. Rod HickPoverty and social security, Cardiff University
Co-applicantProfessor Matthew JohnsonUBI evaluation, Northumbria University
Co-applicantGuillermo Rodriguez-GuzmanImpact evaluation and homelessness, Centre for Homelessness Impact.
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FundersWelsh Government
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