>> This was the message from campaigners wanting guaranteed basic pay for everyone living in Switzerland. But despite some very eye catching crusades backers, Swiss voted on Sunday said no. Switzerland is the first country to hold a national referendum on unconditional basic income, but other countries including Finland are examining similar plans.
The proposal by a grassroots organization called for all adults to receive an unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss Francs. Or $2,550 per month from the state, while children under 18 would get 625 Francs. The aim, providing a financial safety net for the population. Supporters say developed countries produced more than they actually need.
And governments need to rethink the redistribution of wealth, especially due to job cuts in an increasingly digital society. The Swiss government had urged voters to reject the initiative by Basil Cafe owner, Daniel Haeni, saying the scheme would cost too much and undermine societal cohesion. The plan included replacing, in full or in part, what people got from social benefits.
The cabinet said it recognized the overarching goal, but the proposal would cost an estimated 208 billion Swiss Francs a year. There were also fears it would significantly weaken the economy and discourage people, especially low earners, from working. An advanced social safety net is already said to support people who can't afford their livelihood.