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CSSH-N Commission discards SP Income General Insurance as a counterproject

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 Parliament


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).

13rd novembre 2014 PS press release (DE) said, in short:

Popular initiative « For an unconditional basic income» asks for the good questions, but suggests dangerous measures. The main danger is, such basic income (as it's formulated by the initiative) could compromise all Switzerland's social achievements. That's why tomorrow SP will suggest National Council's Social Security Commission (CSSH-N) to consider an Income General Insurance (AEV). « AEV will allow those who can't work to live in dignity, whatever the reason of their inactivity» explains Marina Carobbio, national counselor (TI) and vice-president of Swiss SP.

In its 2014, 14th november press release, BIEN-Suisse, the basic income Swiss network, replies to SP proposition:

After we sent an information dossier about basic income to congressmen and congresswomen, who will gather today in a commission, the Socialist party (SP) suggested to National Council's Social Security Committee (SGK-N in German) a “general income insurance” (AEV in German) as a counter project to the initiative. (…) We're glad to learn that SP pays so much attention to the Initiative, yet we'd like to point out that (…) the SP fears of dismantling social achievements have no basis. All parliamentary forces actually agree on the need for a more effective social security. If this wasn't the case, dismantling would already have taken place. Current pressures against some sectors of our social system can be seen as an indicator that this is no longer able to fulfill its goal in the current context of highly increasing needs. Basic income, simplifying an already too much complex system, could both satisfy the partisans of a social protection that acts in accordance to the principles of dignity and those who want to rationalize unproductive expenses.

A detailed information dossier about basic income, recently sent to congressmen and congresswomen by BIEN-Suisse maybe induced the political awareness of how urgent a social reform is.

This dossier highlights the problems faced by a growing part of the population to completely fulfill their vital economic needs in a shrinking job market. It takes the chance to put in perspective the limits of our current social help system, who mandates a means test (namely, it checks if one has no other sources of income) and was designed to be implemented only in exceptional cases, but now deals with an increasingly generalized demand.

A public version of our aforementioned dossier will soon be published on our website.

pdf 2014, 14th november BIEN-CH press release (PDF)
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