The initiative for an unconditional basic income obtained 23% “yes” votes in Switzerland as a whole, 19.5% in German Switzerland, 28.3% in French Switzerland and 21.9% in Italian Switzerland. This is a very respectable result for something that just a short time ago was completely unknown, was backed by practically no political forces, and was proposing a fundamental paradigm shift.
Large cities returned quite impressive “yes” scores. A number of places even achieved majorities for UBI, such as four central districts in Geneva (Pâquis 54.6%, Mail-Jonction 52.9%, Cluse-Roseraie 51.1% and Prairie-Délices 50.8%), two in Zurich (districts 4 et 5, 54.7%) and the village of Sarzens in Vaud (51.4%). [+]
"What would you do if your income were taken care of?" The Unconditional Basic Income raises what might now well be called the world's biggest question. It's been in fact written on a 110x72 meters poster, installed on Plaine de Plainpalais on 14th may in Geneva by the Swiss network for UBI. That day the poster officially won a Guinness Book award of the world's biggest poster. The event got live covered for half an hour on a big screen on New York's Time Square! [+]
An unconditional basic income (UBI) for everyone, the subject of a popular vote in Switzerland on 5 June 2016, is - according to Ralph Kundig - the logical response to developments in the economy. These imply less and less connection between employment and the economy, and consequently between employment and the social safety net. Ralph is the president of BIEN-Switzerland, the association fighting to introduce an UBI in Switzerland
Big data, learning machines, digitization, open source: all are developments which threaten jobs, even highly qualified ones. Unemployment is rising and social security costs are mushrooming, with fewer and fewer workers to pay for it and feeble economic growth. The way things are going means that neither the economy nor social security can any longer remain dependent on employment.
We are already seeing that salaries no longer bear much relation to the usefulness of the work done. The proportion of the population whose revenue is derived from work is a mere 40%; all the others accomplish tasks which are equally necessary to value creation but are unpaid, such as caring for family, learning, volunteer work or art and culture. In the 21st century, the concept of paid work as the sole source of income, social integration and human value creation has become obsolete.
On January 27th 2016, the Swiss government announced on which initiatives we'll vote on June 5th 2016, and one them will be about the unconditional basic income. The campaign has thus officially begun!
Our networks are organizing and are constantly gaining new enthusiastic members, who want to be a part of the historic vote. Our funds, which are necessary to finance the campaign, are also growing thanks to your support. Small, like the 5 CHF/month by Duccio or big, like the 10'000 CHF by Clément, every donation counts! It's small streams that give birth to big rivers.
It's hard to say whether the referendum will be a success or not, as too many people have never heard of unconditional basic income. They are very vulnerable to the misinformation of its detractors. Our goal is that people get objective information. For this, everybody can help: talk about it, send an information mail to your friends, share our Facebook posts and invite your friends to like our page. You can also take part in our actions and participate in the campaign funding. [+]
On January 27th, the day our government announced the date of the referendum, a golden fleet in favor of basic income arrived in Bern. Our activists arrived with a golden Tesla car, golden bikes, rickshaws and toy cars. They revealed the results of the study conducted by Demoscope Research & Marketing, which was conducted on a panel of Swiss citizens in October 2015. [+]
A non-representative survey of Tagesanzeiger / Newsnet indicates that 49% of the 3112 people who took part in favor of the initiative while only 42% are against. When asked what amount should be paid to adults, 35% of people agree with the proposal of initiators in the amount of CHF 2'500, 14% are for an amount between CHF 1000 and 2 '000.-, 7% for an amount between 3'000.- and 4'000.- and 4% did not know (39% are against any idea of independent labor income). You can find answers to other interesting questions on the Tagesanzeiger site.
You will find answers to other interesting questions on the on the website of the Tagesanzeiger (DE).
It is interesting that, unlike our federal parliamentarians have the initiative now enjoys broad popular support. This is not surprising since, as we have seen during the collection of signatures, it meets a genuine aspiration of the people. [+]
The National Council rejected the initiative by 146 votes against, 14 for and 12 abstentions, a result that is not surprising considering the novelty of our proposal. The next step is consideration by the Commission on Social Security and Public Health of the States Council Thursday 8 and Friday, 9 October, and the vote by the States (see the attached open letter of information we sent to the Commission). The sessions calendar shows it is entirely plausible that the initiative is submitted to popular vote already in June 2016.
146 against – 12 abstentions – 14 for the initiative
(The vote was on the suggestion of rejection emitted by the Commission)
Hereafter extracts from the speech of M. Andreas Gross (Socialist/Zurich) at the National Council : [+]
The groups in German Switzerland planning for the initiative’s voting campaign have organized a meeting in Zurich, and are cordially inviting everyone already involved (or who would like to get involved) in the voting campaign, to attend. The meeting will be an opportunity to exchange ideas, plans and our enthusiasm for convincing the population to say “Yes” to the coming popular vote on the initiative.
Meeting open to all!
Information : Unconditional Basic Income coordination meeting
At the end of last year we sent the members of the Committees for Social Security and Health of National Concil* (CSSH-N) our detailed dossier on the Unconditional Basic Income initiative. This Commission will be continuing to consider the initiative at its next meeting, scheduled for 19-20 February 2015.
With the dossier we enclosed a cover-note, reproduced below, suggesting that the deputies commission a thorough study examining the possible effects of the introduction of a basic income. Such a study should in principle have been carried out by the Government before sending the initiative on to the Parliament, but it still has not been done, even though it is essential for the Parliament and later on the voters to have a satisfactory basis for their decision.
* National Concil is the lower house of parliament
Text of our message to Members of Parliament: [+]
Discussions around the initiative for a basic income are being developed. The initiative is being discussed at the Parliament on 13rd and 14th november at Social Security and Public Health Commission (CSSH-N).
With 15 votes against 6, CSSH-N Commission refused to suspend the object of the Initiative «For an Unconditional Basic Income», a suspension that should have taken place for administration to work out an indirect counterproject. It will resume its audit after the winter session.
Swiss Socialist party (SP) has suggested in commission the General Income Insurance (AEV) as a counterproject to the Unconditional Basic Income. AGR is a unified and permanent indemnization system in case of professional gain losses, suggested by the Denknetz (DE – a think tank close to the socialist party). [+]