Zurich to roll out universal basic income pilot project

Zurich to roll out universal basic income pilot project
Swiss francs set up on a soccer table as part of an art project in Switzerland. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
500 people in the city of Zurich will receive a monthly basic income as part of a pilot project over three years.

The project seeks to test whether a universal basic income would be feasible in Switzerland, Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes reports. 

The experiment will be studied by universities, while the city has already promised to cover the costs of the scheme. 

The initiative has the support of the Social Democrats, the Green Liberals and the Free Democrats. 

Lara Can, from the Social Democrats, is one of the advocates of the plan. 

She told 20 Minutes it was time to test whether the idea – which has been frequently considered but not yet implemented in Switzerland – is feasible. 

“The time is ripe to advance the basic income: from the supposed utopia to scientific facts,” she said. 

The amount of income has not been made public at this stage, although Switzerland’s Tages Anzeiger reports that it is likely to depend on the previous wages of the participants – and that it should not fall below subsistence level in Switzerland. 

The program is expected to run for three years. 

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