As a new experiment, Switzerland is now considering a proposal of paying its citizens unconditional basic pay of $30,000 a year (about $2,500 every month) irrespective of one's working conditions. The unconditional pay may replace the various welfare benefits offered by the government.
On June 5, the Swiss will vote whether to introduce the basic income system in the economy or not, Bloomberg reported. This means whether a Swiss citizen is working or non-working, he/she is entitled to earn the sum of money every month.
The initiative gained momentum after the proposal received over 1,00,000 signatures in favour in Switzerland, which happens to be one of the most expensive countries in the world. The idea of a "basic pay" has garnered interest in other countries such as Canada, Netherlands and Finland.
However, some people are not in favour of the move and raised doubts whether the basic pay is enough to sustain a person to live comfortably above the poverty line margin.
In 2014, Switzerland's poverty line was set at 29,501 Swiss Francs (approx $29,732). Some initiators believe the amount allows for a "decent existence," the Bloomberg report added.
"It's not like you see abject poverty in Switzerland. But there are a few people who do not have enough money, and there are some people who work and don't earn enough," Andreas Ladner, professor of political science at University of Lusanne, was quoted as saying by the agency.
According to the report, the proposal is being opposed by the Swiss government, which feels the basic pay concept could impact the economy by resulting in higher taxes and perhaps cause shortage of skilled people. Businesses have reportedly warned they would move out of the mountainous European nation to less expensive locations in a bid to cut costs.
[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]