• Switzerland edition
 
Give everyone a state income: proposal
Michael Faes

Give everyone a state income: proposal

Published: 12 Apr 2012 09:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Apr 2012 09:42 GMT+02:00

A philanthropic movement wants to create a Swiss Utopia by ensuring that every citizen receives an “unconditional base income” of 2,500 francs ($2,729).

Supporters are currently trying to raise 100,000 signatures to trigger a referendum. The ideais backed by artists, therapists, filmmakers and socialist politicians, such as former Vice-Chancellor Oswald Sigg,and National Councillor for Basel, Sylvia Schenker, online news site Le Matin reported.

The initiative is also supported by a Geneva-based organisation, BIEN, which stands for Basic Income Earth Network. The group was formed in 2001 by like-minded individuals, who strongly believe in the benefits of providing a base income for all.

 “The beauty of the idea is obvious: for the first time in the history of mankind, a sovereign and independent living is within reach of everyone, not only those who have the benefit of great fortunes,” Albert Jörimann, president of BIEN told Le Matin.

The idea for unconditional base income derives originally from Thomas More’s Utopia. It has been placed before the Chambers on previous occasions but never succeeded.

“I do not see how to implement such a project,” President of the Commission for Social Security and Public Health and National Councillor, Stephane Rossini, told Le Matin.

“The initiators do not explain how we would make the transition.”

There are fears that such a system would chronically reduce people’s motivation to work, online news site Blick reported.

In particular, economics professor Monika Bütler told the site she was concerned about the effect of the unconditional nature of the income.

“Excitingly enough, people answered this question very differently when it was asked personally," co-initiator Daniel Hani told Blick.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

2012-04-19 04:29:37 by pfalzfreund
Those who have earned, have stolen nothing. Those who expect a guaranteed minimum income are those who will establish a new base line for poverty. As humans it behooves us to assist those in need but it is not incumbent upon us to promote dependence and sloth. Do you want a minimum income? Do minimum work. Want more? Work more.Intelligent investment creates jobs and generates wealth. I have worked every day since I was 9 and am now reaping the rewards. It has taken me 50 years but I am financially secure. Too many work for a year or so and give up because it is too hard. Life is hard! But, as Voltaire said..."Compared to what?"
2012-04-15 20:46:42 by asteriks
rich are rich because they steal profit created by workers, so, of course, money produced in swisss should belong to all people in swiss. all money should be shared and not only 2500. of course, in such case, riches would escape, even they have so much they can not spend all that money but they like to possess more then they really need in their life. therefore they propose 2500, so, riches would stay in swiss.
2012-04-12 23:07:02 by Oliver Jones
It's always politically enticing to promise voters a share of someone else's income: When you promise to rob Peter in order to pay Paul, you will always get Paul's vote. But what happens when Peter decides he's had enough, and emigrates?
2012-04-12 12:16:03 by mirena
I believe that such a system would gradually reduce people's motivation to work and would stimulate laziness instead of activity. In a way, people are "designed" to move in the direction of smallest effort and resistance.
Today's headlines
UBS 'to pay French $1.5 billion over tax evasion'
Photo: Martin Abegglen

UBS 'to pay French $1.5 billion over tax evasion'

Swiss bank UBS was on Wednesday charged with tax fraud in Paris for allegedly helping rich French clients to hide money in Switzerland, a judicial source said. READ  

Renewable energy activities hit ABB results
Photo: Roland Zh

Renewable energy activities hit ABB results

Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB said its profits fell in the second quarter, pulled down by renewable energy activities, despite strong orders, particularly in North America. READ  

Red Cross officially declares Ukraine civil war

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross said Wednesday that it considered Ukraine to be in a state of civil war, urging both sides to respect the laws of conflict as civilians bear the brunt. READ  

Israel's actions 'may be war crimes': Pillay
Navi Pillay. Photo: UNHCR

Israel's actions 'may be war crimes': Pillay

Israel's military actions in the Gaza Strip could amount to war crimes, UN rights chief Navi Pillay said in Geneva on Wednesday, while also condemning indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militants Hamas. READ  

Wheelchair user killed in station by SBB train
Photo: Sebastian Widmann/AFP/Getty Images

Wheelchair user killed in station by SBB train

An investigation is under way into the death of a man in a wheelchair who was killed on Tuesday by a Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) train travelling through the Roggwil-Wynau train station in the canton of Bern. READ  

Geneva bank CBH snaps up Portuguese interests
Photo: (Detail) AFP

Geneva bank CBH snaps up Portuguese interests

The main shareholder of troubled Banco Espirito Santo (BES) was placed in receivership on Tuesday as the parent group announced it has sold off the bulk of its Swiss-based activities to Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique, a Geneva-based bank. READ  

Palestinian meets Fifa chief over Gaza crisis
FIFA chief Sepp Blatter. Photo: Marcello Casal Jr.

Palestinian meets Fifa chief over Gaza crisis

Fifa chief Sepp Blatter on Tuesday raised the alarm about the spiralling Gaza crisis as he held talks with the head of the Palestinian Football Association. READ  

Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking
Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP/File

Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking

Computer hackers are using a “trojan horse” virus to target users of 16 Swiss online banking sites, according to reports from security experts who liken the “holes” in internet banking security to Emmental cheese. READ  

Geneva lawyer named US ambassador to Finland
Charles C. Adams Jr. Photo: Paul Ronga

Geneva lawyer named US ambassador to Finland

President Barack Obama has named Charles C. Adams Jr., a prominent American lawyer and Democratic Party supporter living in Geneva, as US ambassador to Finland. READ  

Strong franc dents Swatch first-half profits
Photo: Swatch

Strong franc dents Swatch first-half profits

Swatch, the world’s biggest watch company, recorded lower profits for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period a year earlier, as the strong Swiss franc took its toll. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Video of Bern football player's spectacular own goal goes global
Tech
Switzerland stays on top of innovation rankings for fourth year
National
Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn play tennis at Jungfraujoch (VIDEOS)
Business & Money
Competition commission launches probe into Swiss car leasing 'fiddle'
Health
Down's syndrome cases in Switzerland more than double
National
American family files hefty lawsuit over deadly Swiss balloon crash
Features
Graubünden's panoramic Bernina Express celebrates rail history
National
Study rates Zurich as world's fifth most expensive city for expats
National
Swiss-based human brain project directors hit back at research critics
Business & Money
Switzerland gets the edge on EU with China free trade agreement
National
Entries for new Swiss national anthem competition swell over 200
National
Zurich-based helicopter firm denies role in Schumacher medical leak
Culture
Montreux Jazz Festival debuts live internet streaming of concerts
Features
Tour of Bern’s historic fountains tells story of Switzerland's capital
National
Swiss media lament football team's 'cruel' and 'bitter' defeat
International
The Local expands its reach with the launch of new website in Denmark
Sport
Jubilant press hails hat-trick hero Shaqiri as 'Swiss Messi'
National
New website study reveals inequality in Swiss disposable income
Travel
Switzerland’s largest ski area 4-Vallées breaks up over lift dispute
National
VIDEO: Zurich Zoo launches contest to name newborn baby elephant
Business & Money
CEO-to-worker pay gap grows at biggest Swiss firms: union study
Culture
VIDEO: Swiss performance artist plans naked stroll at Art Basel
National
Zurich's new rail line and underground station open 'without a hitch'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,183
jobs available