Swiss residents are to vote on a countrywide referendum about a radical plan to pay every single adult a guaranteed income of $600 a week (or $2.400 a month).
The plan, proposed by a group of intellectuals, could make the country the first in the world to pay all of its citizens a monthly basic income regardless if they work or not.
But the initiative has not gained much traction among politicians from left and right despite the fact that a referendum on it was approved by the federal government for the ballot box on June 5.
Under the proposed initiative, each child would also receive 145 francs ($141) a week. The federal government estimates the cost of the proposal at 208 billion francs ($203 billion) a year.
Around 153 billion francs ($149 bn) would have to be levied from taxes, while 55 billion francs ($53 bn) would be transferred from social insurance and social assistance spending.
The group proposing the initiative, which includes artists, writers and intellectuals, cited a survey which shows that the majority of Swiss residents would continue working if the guaranteed income proposal was approved.
‘The argument of opponents that a guaranteed income would reduce the incentive of people to work is therefore largely contradicted,’ it said in a statement quoted by The Local.
However, a third of the 1,076 people interviewed for the survey by the Demoscope Institute believed that ‘others would stop working’.
And more than half of those surveyed (56 percent) believe the guaranteed income proposal will never see the light of day.