Financing

Unconditional Basic Income: Beyond the Great Confusion

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Looking at the UBI in economic terms means thinking further than "helicopter money", it is the reform that we need the most.

Helicopter
Photo : Jean-Marc (CC)

In his article, Jean-Daniel Delley (DP 2289) points out that the idea of an unconditional basic income (UBI) is gaining new traction. Indeed, the economic and social crisis resulting from the pandemic has highlighted the need for a minimum income floor.

Unfortunately, the confusion around the concept of a UBI is as widespread as the prejudice and resistance to radical economic and social innovation. The UBI is not social security reform.

It comes before the redistribution of income received by workers and capital holders: it concerns the "primary distribution" or "primary income distribution". It is therefore a reform of the economic system. [+]

Poster of BIEN-Switzerland for the 18th Congress of BIEN-International

Produced by BIEN-Switzerland, this poster was among those of other affiliated organizations at the 18th Annual BIEN (International) Congress in Tampere, Finland.

BIEN-Switzerland poster for the 18e congress

Summary

On the 5th of June 2016, a fourth of the Swiss population voted in favor of a citizen federal initiative proposing to introduce the principle of the Universal Basic Income into the Swiss Constitution. After this significant milestone and based on the resulting fresh understanding of the UBI principles by the population and the political actors, actions have been taken to launch some pilot experiments in the country.

BIEN-Switzerland has actively supported the UBI initiative as well as other initiatives of the same type which may ease the introduction of the UBI at any level. Besides this activity, our organization proposes introductory lectures on the UBI and issues surrounding it, the setting up of experimental pilot projects, workshops on the themes of possible methods of practical implementation, benefits/limits/drawbacks of experiments and the formulation of a likely new federal initiative. [+]

What has Sovereign Money got to do with an Unconditional Basic Income?

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logo Vollgeld

 

As you are no doubt aware, we will be voting on 10 June 2018 on the Sovereign Money Initiative "Money safe from finance crises: Only the Swiss National Bank can create money" (known as the “Vollgeld Initiative” in German and “l’Initiative Monnaie Pleine” in French). Here we present this initiative and how it links to the UBI.

Whether or not you campaigned for an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), you've probably heard this question repeatedly: how do you pay for the UBI? There are no shortages of solutions! Here we explore how a Sovereign Money system could contribute achieve this. Before that, we explain how the current monetary system works and how a sovereign money system differs​. [+]

Our detailed information dossier on basic income sent to members of the CSSH-N Commission

Our information dossier sent to the Parliament

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: [+]

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