Swiss municipality to offer guaranteed income

Rheinau, a mainly rural municipality 30km north of Zurich, is the site of an abbey situated on the Rhine river. Keystone

A Swiss municipality in the outskirts of Zurich has decided to guarantee basic income to residents on a trial basis.

This content was published on June 6, 2018 - 12:04 and SDA-ATS; urs

The mayor of RheinauExternal link, a town on the Rhine river in northern Switzerland, said the local council on Tuesday agreed to participate in a privately-funded minimum income project. 

This measure comes two years after Swiss voters massively rejected a nationwide proposal for a basic income.

+ When Swiss voters threw out a plan for guaranteed basic income

The brainchild of a Swiss filmmaker, this venture is slotted to start next year on condition that enough money can be collected through crowd funding and that enough citizens are willing to participate.

Mayor Andrea Jenni was quoted as saying in several media on Wednesday that participants – current residents above the age of 25 only - would receive a monthly income of CHF2,500 ($2,500). But they would have to reimburse it if they have total monthly earnings or benefits of over CHF2,500.

This condition might make it difficult to convince at least 600 residents (of the 1,300-member town) to take part, Jenni said.

Further details of the live experiment will be announced at the end of August.

Finland, US, Kenya, Germany

A similar project is underway in Finland with a group of 2,000 unemployed people receiving monthly payments of about CHF660. That two-year trial concludes next January.

Small privately funded projects are also taking place in Kenya and Germany, while the city of Stockton in California wants to launch an 18-month experiment next year.

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