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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Swiss have rejected a guaranteed income because of the load on the economy

The Swiss voted against the idea of a guaranteed basic income, which was seen as a tool to help low-income citizens. Preliminary data of the Swiss referendum leads the Institute for the study of public opinion, according to Agence France-Presse. Against unconditional income voted more than 80% of the inhabitants of the Alpine Republic.

photo: pixabay.com

Proponents advocated that every adult Swiss citizen received 2,500 Swiss francs per month (more than 170 000 rubles) monthly, regardless of how much he works. According to them, it would help to fight poverty and social inequality in the context of growing unemployment in the world. However, this implementation of the “Marxist dream” has not caused great enthusiasm from the very beginning: almost all major political forces in the country have subjected it to criticism, focusing on the large costs, will face the Swiss economy in the case of an amendment to the Constitution.

According to estimates of the Swiss authorities, for the payment of an unconditional income would be necessary for them 208 billion francs every year (for comparison: Swiss GDP is about $ 700 billion), which would, as noted by Reuters, failed to cover in the framework of existing schemes. In the case of a positive result of the referendum, the state would have to compensate for at least 25 billion francs, which, in turn, would have caused either reducing government spending or raising taxes.

As noted by Western analysts, this is what influenced the decision of Swiss citizens who came to the referendum on 5 June. They have previously refused initiatives that risked to cause at least some damage to the national economy. So, in 2014, in a referendum, the doormen said “no” to raising the minimum wage to 22 Swiss francs ($25), the initiator of which was made by local unions.

However, one of the authors of the idea of unconditional income entrepreneur Daniel Aani not very upset by such results of the referendum. “As a businessman, I consider it realistic, – explained to journalists, Aani. – I was counting on 15 percent support, but now it is more than 20%… I think this is a fabulous and sensational result… When I see interest from the foreign press, then I say that we set the trends”.

Along with the question of absolute income, the Swiss also voted in the referendum on the simplification of obtaining asylum. Against this, voted 66 percent. Recall that Switzerland was the first country, which decided to hold a national referendum on unconditional basic income. Other countries, such as Finland, are considering similar steps.

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