I have abridged the following. (r. a. note)
TeleSur News Posted Sun., June 05, 2016
Swiss voters rejected by a wide margin on Sunday a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for everyone living in the wealthy country after an uneasy debate about the future of work at a time of increasing automation.
Voterswere asked whether they wanted all Swiss citizens, along with foreigners who have been residents in Switzerland for at least five years, to receive an unconditional basic income, or UBI.
Supporters had said introducing a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (US$2,563) per adult and 625 francs per child under 18 no matter how much they work would promote human dignity and public service. That may sound a lot, but it is barely enough to get by on in one of the world’s priciest nations — leaving plenty of incentive to work, campaigners say.
Opponents, including the government, said it would cost too much and weaken the economy.
Provisional final results showed 76.9 percent of voters opposed the bold social experiment launched by Basel cafe owner Daniel Haeni and allies in a vote under the Swiss system of direct democracy.
Haeni acknowledged defeat but claimed a moral victory.
Conservative Switzerland is the first country to hold a national referendum on an unconditional basic income, but others including Finland are examining similar plans as societies ponder a world where robots replace humans in the workforce.
The Swiss government had urged voters to reject the campaign, saying the scheme would cost too much and undermine social cohesion.
Interior Minister Alain Berset said the vote showed Swiss voters supported the economic and social system in place “and that this system works well.”
The plan included replacing in full or in part what people got from social benefits.