The leader of Plaid Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to introduce a universal basic income for the next month amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Adam Price said the temporary universal basic income for the next month would help provide adequate support for the self-employed during the crisis.

The proposed emergency payment would give the self-employed security for a limited period ahead of any further announcement of support from the UK Government.

“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. 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.

“That’s why we’re calling on the Welsh Government to provide an emergency Universal Basic Income for a month as the quickest, simplest, and surest way of providing much needed certainty for the self-employed, freelancers and those on zero hours contracts until the UK Government finally step up to the plate.

He said the action would cost the Welsh Government £247 million.

Shadow Economy Minister Helen Mary Jones added: “In times such as this, what we need now more than ever is an ambitious and innovative plan that gets to the heart of the issue rather than introducing a patchwork plan.

“Here is an opportunity for the Welsh and UK Government to prove that they can adequately respond to the biggest crisis facing us in recent memory."