Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

Switzerland to vote on $2,800 monthly ‘basic income’ for adults

Recommended Posts


More than 100,000 residents in Switzerland have signed a petition demanding that the government ensure a minimum monthly income of nearly $2,800 (2,500 Swiss francs) for all adults in the country.

The 120,000 signatures are enough to formally call a vote in the government over whether or not to approve the “CHF 2,500 monthly for everyone" (Grundeinkommen)” funding proposal.

For comparison, the average U.S. worker earned $3,769 in pre-tax, monthly salary in 2011. Food service industry workers earned $1,785 in pre-tax income during the same period.

MSN reports that in a public display of support, advocates tipped over a truck full of 8 million five-cent coins in front of the Swiss capital on Friday, one coin for each of the country’s citizens.

[More photos from the 8 million five-cent coin event]

A formal date has yet to be set for the vote but it could come as early as this year, pending guidance from Swiss government.

Funding for the proposed measure would come out of the Swiss social insurance system, which already guarantees universal health care coverage for its citizens, along with other benefits designed to uphold the country’s social safety net.

Because of the relatively low threshold for forcing votes on referendum driven issues, Switzerland typically votes on several public measures each year.

For example, on November 24th, the country will vote on a separate measure that would limit executive pay to the same amount paid to a company’s lowest paid staff member.

The so-called 1:12 initiative has received support from the Swiss government’s Social Democrat bloc.

At least one of Switzerland’s biggest CEO’s has said if the measure passes, he would consider moving his company out of the country .

“I can’t believe that Switzerland would cause such great harm to its economy,” Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg told the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. “And I say that not just as the head of a company, but as a Swiss citizen.”

Glencore said the measure could have a disastrous effect on other Swiss companies, including Nestlé, Novartis and Roche.

Of course, not all of the country’s referendums are meant to promote a socialist state. For example, a majority of Swiss voters have voiced support for a referendum that would maintain the country’s conscription policy , which requires all men in the country aged 18-34 to complete a period of public service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Housing and food are cheap in the philippines but the wages are so low there that a typical middle class white collar corporate worker lives with a heck of a lot less than we do in Vancouver, especially for luxury items like cars and electronics.

Interesting how gas and buying a car are pretty similar yet taxi's are drastically less. I had a really long taxi ride and was stuck in traffic for a long time and it only cost around $7, in Vancouver it would have been $60 probably.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is incorrect. The actual bill is for executive pay not to exceed 12 times the pay of the lowest paid full time staff member. A great way to guarantee all of the best and brightest executives leave the country. Disastrous In the short and long term. Limiting executive pay is a nice idea but in a free market economy that can only go so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The referendum says $2800 to ALL adults, regardless of the income level. So why should anyone who earn close to that amount work when they can sit at home and do nothing and get the same amount.

That means companies will lose a lot of workers unless they pay way more than $2800 a month.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Swiss have the highest per adult wealth of any country in the world. They can probably afford it. Concern about freeloaders there is probably less justified than if the same policy were in place in Canada/US. Social responsibility is much higher over there and service to country is a fact of life. With such a low poverty rate, few people likely make less than 2,800 per month anyway. Contributing to society is more socially valued over there, the idea of stopping work just so you can pocket the 2,800 would likely be perceived as a real social taboo and the backlash from acting in such a way would likely outweigh the benefit of not working.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just economics. By artificially inflating the income floor, it will just create more inefficiencies in the market. Want more detail, read up on it.

Switzerland has one of the lower poverty rates in the world and this vote will give more money to that particular group, at the expense of everybody else. Sounds kinda like freeloading to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...