Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds has backed a government universal income trial - and has called for the scheme to be widened to include more people.

Speaking in the Senedd today, Mark Drakeford confirmed the Welsh Government is set to pilot the Universal Basic Income(UBI) scheme, which pays everyone a fixed sum, regardless of their circumstances.

High profile individuals such as billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk have backed the concept, while the UK Labour Party made a trial of UBI a core promise in its 2019 general election manifesto.

The pilot is expected to start in April 2022, and is set to include care leavers, but Liberal Democrat Senedd Member Ms Dodds has called for the scheme to be widened to take in a larger group of people.

"Whilst I would prefer, of course, for the scope of the pilot to be widened beyond care leavers, as I've been calling on the Government to do, I'm still very keen to support the Government so that we can pilot this radical and transformational approach to reducing poverty here in Wales," she said.

"In Wales, almost a third of children live in poverty, meaning that as a proportion of our population, Wales currently has the worst levels of child poverty in the whole of the United Kingdom.

"It's also worth noting that this is certainly not helped by the Conservative Westminster Government's recent decision to cut Universal Credit, which of course will hurt the least well off amongst our population."

A number of UBI trials have taken place in other parts of the world, reporting mostly positive results.

A two year study began in California found that recipients of the guaranteed income were “healthier, showing less depression and anxiety and enhanced wellbeing”, and were able to find full-time employment, while similar studies in Kenya and Finland drew broadly similar conclusions.

"We have closely followed the progress of pilots around the world with interest and believe there is an opportunity to test a version in Wales," said a Welsh Government spokesperson.

"We understand the excitement and the interest around this policy, however, it is important that we get it right - there is more work to be done in this area but we are interested in developing a version, potentially first involving people leaving care."

A statement from the UK Government says it has no plans to introduce UBI, arguing that it would disincentivise work.

"It would not incentivise work, target those most in need in society, or work for those who need more support, such as disabled people and those with caring responsibilities," said a government spokesperson earlier this year.

And while the UK Labour party had committed to a trial of UBI in it's 2019 manifesto under then leader Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds, who supported the idea of a trial in 2016, now says it is 'not feasible'.

"There is no UBI plan on the shelf that you could just implement in the UK that’s in any way feasible," he told a Labour Party conference fringe event last month.

"Could you take the current spending and deliver it - obviously not. It just wouldn’t be anywhere near sufficient."