By Ivan Botoucharov
Oct 19, 2013
For the past 18 months people all over Switzerland have been campaigning for the "Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income". Today the result of their efforts will be handed to the Federal Chancellery: 116,000 signatures (the minimum required number of signatures for the initiative to trigger a referendum was 100,000). The success of the initiative means that citizens of Switzerland will be the first in the world to vote on "Unconditional Basic Income".
What does the proposal involve? If unconditional basic income is implemented everyone will receive a guaranteed income every month, regardless of age or employment status. It is a bit like a state pension, but for all age groups. It cannot be reduced or withdrawn. It is a real alternative to austerity. Pilot projects in Canada and India have demonstrated that the effects include improved public health and higher levels of educational attainment.
The referendum in Switzerland will be held between 2014 and 2018. Meanwhile citizens of the member states of the European Union are campaigning for the European Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income (www.basicincome2013.eu). This initiative asks the European Commission to explore the possibility of introducing unconditional basic income in the European Union. It aims to gather a million signatures by January 2014.
Support this initiative and encourage the European Commission to find ways of tackling austerity and providing growth, by signing the ECI here: http://www.basicincome2013.eu/ubi/signup-page/