Projections from a referendum in Switzerland suggest voters have rejected a plan to introduce a guaranteed basic income for all. Some 78% of voters opposed the plan, a GFS projection for Swiss TV suggested. The proposal had called for adults to be paid an unconditional monthly income, whether they worked or not.
Supporters said since work was increasingly automated, fewer jobs were available for workers. Switzerland is the first country to hold such a vote.
No figure for the basic income had been set, but those behind the proposal suggested a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (£1,755; $2,555) for adults and SFr625 for each child, reflecting the high cost of living in Switzerland. It is not clear how it would affect people on higher salaries.
Meanwhile, there was little support among Swiss politicians for the idea and not a single parliamentary party has come out in favour, but the proposal gathered more than 100,000 signatures and was therefore put to the vote under the Swiss popular initiative system.
Critics of the measure say that disconnecting the link between work done and money earned would be bad for society. But Che Wagner from the campaign group Basic Income Switzerland, says it wouldn’t be money for nothing.
“In Switzerland over 50% of total work that is done is unpaid. It’s care work, it’s at home, it’s in different communities, so that work would be more valued with a basic income.”
Sounds like our welfare cheats, doesn’t it? Get paid for doing nothing, and raking in more than the honest working man. Not to mention, how would they pay for it all?
The wording on the initiative was vague, asking for a constitutional change to “guarantee the introduction of an unconditional basic income” but with no mention of amounts.
The idea is also under consideration elsewhere. In Finland, the government is considering a trial to give basic income to about 8,000 people from low-income groups.
And in the Dutch city of Utrecht is also developing a pilot project which will begin in January 2017.