Generation Basic Income's proposal represents a quantum leap. For starters, 2,500 Swiss francs per month is a substantial sum. Also, unlike with welfare programs, beneficiaries wouldn't be required to document that they are unable to work... |
If it passes, the right to a minimum income will be written into Switzerland's constitution, but it will be up to Parliament to decide how to implement it. Providing each citizen with the proposed salary would require a massive amount of money--some $220 billion a year, or roughly a third of Switzerland's gross domestic product.
It's an interesting idea in many ways. It can be argued that it wouldn't discourage a desire to work and achieve because you would keep the money whether you work or not and most people will want more money to live a better life. As the article points out it would likely dramatically change the labor market among other aspects of society.
How would it be paid for? About a 1/3 of it would come from existing social programs. Another large part would be "recouped by cuts in salaries, because the payments would replace part of existing paychecks." The remaining amount would be paid for by a consumption tax ( equally applied to all citizens usually ) and estate tax and/or tariifs.