The great Swiss handout

Swiss blissSwitzerland may begin to pay a salary of more than 2,500 Swiss francs every month to each adult in the country, irrespective if they are in work or not.

The monthly spend is worth about 2,025 euros.

The initiative would deliver a living wage to every Swiss citizen, lessening the burden of worrying about finances and enabling them to live well without having to take on demeaning work.

The country is the third most expensive in Europe, following after Norway and Iceland, according to EU statistics.  Food, such as meat, fish and vegetables all command high prices, although basic utilities (electricity, heating, water, garbage) are around 200 francs per month.

On average, a one bedroom apartment in a city centre costs about 1,400 francs to rent.

A petition signed by more than 100,000 people was sent to Parliament asking for the basic income to be provided to all.  A date for the parliamentary vote has yet to be confirmed.

Funding for the measure, should it pass, is likely to come from the country’s social insurance system, which is, of course, funded by the taxpayer.

Businesses are likely to have to increase basic wages for the lowest paid jobs in order to achieve the higher standard of living behind the initiative.

Not all business executives are in favour of the proposal, with some threatening to move their companies out of Switzerland.

The country’s population is just above 8 million, with an unemployment rate of 3%.

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