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Switzerland voters reject unconditional basic income proposal in referendum

Jun 6, 2016 18:00 IST

Switzerland voters on 5 June 2016 rejected an unconditional basic income (UBI) proposal in referendum.

As per the proposal, all Swiss citizens and foreigners who have been residents in Switzerland for at least 5 years are provided with the UBI irrespective of their income status.

The referendum result is of significance because of its wide margin. Out of the total votes polled, nearly 77 percent were against the plan, while only 23 percent were in favour of it.

The amount to be paid was not determined before the vote, but the political-group behind the initiative suggested paying 2500 US dollars a month to each adult and 640 US dollars for each child.

As per an estimate, the proposal would have cost an additional 25.62 billion US dollars on the exchequer.

Comment

The result of the referendum is of importance to policy makers across the world. The proposal for providing unconditional basic income was mooted due to growing uncertainties in the job market because of economic downturn.

Supporters argued that providing such income grant would assist people in a world where good jobs with steady salaries are becoming harder to find.

However, the critics of the proposal argued that the UBI initiative would lead to sky-high costs and people quitting their jobs in large numbers.

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