A voter drops in his ballot in an election office in Bern, Switzerland
A voter drops in his ballot in an election office in Bern, Switzerland EPA - PETER KLAUNZER

Switzerland to vote on guaranteed income for everyone

SWITZERLAND is set to vote on a proposal that wants to pay everyone $3,450 a month regardless of whether people are working or not.

If the plans go through, it will become the first country in the world to provide a basic unconditional monthly income, and they are already the first country to vote on the matter.

The idea, which has been put forward by a group of intellectuals who insist people will still want to work and get jobs, has not received positive interest from either left and right sided politicians.

The federal government approved to vote on the initiative in June.

The rationale behind the scheme is to break the link between employment and income, where people will have guaranteed income regardless whether they are in employment or not.

The committee's proposal is based on a survey, carried out by Demoscope Institute, which reportedly showed the majority of Swiss residents would carry on working, or still look for a job, even if the guaranteed income was approved.

The survey also said only two per cent of people were likely to stop working, while eight per cent said they "could envisage this possibility depending on circumstances," reported the Local.

In a statement, the committee said: "The argument of opponents that a guaranteed income wouldn't reduce the incentive of people to work is by this largely contradicted."

The initiative also wants to give each child $860 a month.

The plan would cost the government around $287 billion a year, where $209 billion would need to be levied from taxes and a further $78 billion would be transferred from social insurance and social assistance spending, the Local reported.

The results of the survey showed a third of the 1,076 people interviewed, believed if the proposal came into force, other people would stop working.

While 56 per cent of those surveyed said the proposal will "never see the light of day".