6 June 2016
The proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for adults in Switzerland has been rejected by Swiss voters – only 23% of the voters backed it.
According to the proposal, adults, whether working or not were to be paid a monthly income of 2500 Swiss francs.
The amount was to be allocated to adults with 5 years of legal residence in the country. An additional 625 Swiss francs was to be given to each child of the adult.
Those who supported the proposal claimed it would help fight poverty and inequality. Those who didn’t on the other hand, said it would make the country “too attractive” to economic immigrants.
Luzi Stamm, a representative of Swiss People’s Party in Parliament told BBC that the scheme would only work if Switzerland was an Island.
He said: “With open borders it is a total impossibility, especially for Switzerland with high living standard”. He concluded that if the proposal is approved, billions of people would try to move to Switzerland.
Referendums are not new to Switzerland, citizens have always taken part in governance through it. In Switzerland, any citizen can propose changes to the country’s constitution if they gather 100,000 signatures in 18 months.