Swiss Called to Vote on Unconditional Basic Income

GMT 11:45 2016 Sunday ,05 June

Arab Today, arab today Swiss Called to Vote on Unconditional Basic Income

Bern - QNA

Swiss voters are set to decide Sunday on whether every citizen should receive a basic guaranteed income, the world's first referendum on such a matter. 
Although the latest polls show that 70% are opposed to the idea - which is being discussed by economists and politicians in several countries - the initiators say that the public vote will be a success, even if they win only 20%. 
"We wanted to send a signal with this referendum. The debate about a basic income will definitely go on in the coming years," Philip Kovce, one of the initiators, told the German News Agency (dpa). 
The idea is that the state would guarantee every adult a minimum monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (2,535 dollars). Every child would get 625 francs. At the same time, it would foresee scrapping jobless, social and pension payments. 
People with higher salaries would not get additional money. 
The progressives who launched the initiative say basic income would be a necessary reaction to the current digital revolution, which has resulted in fewer jobs. 
The Swiss government is opposed to the concept, arguing that austerity measures or tax hikes would be necessary to finance it. 
The government also worries that the basic income would attract many migrants. 
Left-wing parties in Germany and the anti-globalist Five Star Movement in Italy have also been advocating the basic income concept. 
On Sunday, Switzerland also holds separate referenda on speeding up asylum procedures, and on obliging state-owned enterprises like the national railways to focus on public service rather than profits.

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