Switzerland Rejects Guaranteed Income Proposal In National Referendum

A Swiss vote appears to have turned down a proposal to give every citizen basic pay, whether or not they work. Early results of a Saturday referendum had 78 percent of voters giving the plan the thumbs down. Photo by Mariane Weyo/Shutterstock

BERN, Switzerland, June 5 (UPI) — The Swiss appear to have voted down a plan for the government to pay citizens a guaranteed income whether or not they are employed.

The proposal would have forced the government to pay each citizen the equivalent of nearly 1,800 euros, or about $2,045, each month.

Critics called the unconditional national income a “Marxist dream,” though it was proposed as a means of addressing poverty and inequality, Sky News reported.

Partial voter results showed 78 percent of Swiss voters opposed the measure in a national referendum Saturday.

Those who supported the measure argued that since work has become increasingly automated, fewer jobs are available. The proposal also recommended a monthly income of 1,755 euros, or about $1,995, for each child, BBC reported.

Few Swiss politicians supported the notion. No parliamentary parties supported it, either. Still the proposal gathered more than 100,000 signatures, so it went on the ballot.

Critics of the measure argued that disconnecting the link between work and pay would be bad for the country.

Basic Income Switzerland Campaign Director Che Wager argued it would not be wasted money.

“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.”


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