News; News & Events

SWITZERLAND: Swiss Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs Opposes a Federal Initiative for Basic Income


Swiss Parliament

Swiss Parliament

After taking a vote, the Swiss Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs proposes to its board the recommendation that people and policy makers reject the popular initiative for an unconditional basic income as they believe that the acceptance of this initiative could challenge existing social security systems and be difficult on the Swiss economy.

Next, the issue will come before the National Council and then the Council of States, with both issuing a recommendation. A public referendum will be held in fall 2016.


For more information about the vote and the committee’s recommendation, see here:


Christian Muller & Daniel Straub. “AlertVolksinitiative für ein bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen. May 29, 2015.


Secretariat of the Commissions for Social Security and Health. “Media Release”. The Federal Assembly. May 29, 2015


About Jenna van Draanen

Jenna van Draanen has written 110 articles.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • Silly. Of course UBi ‘challenges existing social security systems; that’s the whole idea of an alternative social system. Someone didn’t get it!
    Would it be difficult on the Swiss economy? Well sure, if you can’t even apreciate this is an alternative. And an alternative with a reason. (…that makes life less difficult – and more pleasant and productive and participating and etc etc). Wow ;-/

  • Hannes Radke

    I find it disturbing that alternative economic thinking is so carelessly brushed aside by the establishments. They should run serious limited pilots and experiments. Instead they just wave it away out of sheer prejudice. A hermeticly closed mind will never allow for something new.

  • Anne-Marie Béneix

    C’est sûr que si on a peur pour son poste de “social affairs” rien ne bougera.
    Lorsque le “revenu de base inconditionnel” sera un revenu suffisant pour les habitants (tel qu’il a été pensé à l’origine), les entreprises et associations redeviendront des outils au service des vivants. Aussi longtemps que ce n’est pas compris ils mettent le vivant au service de l’argent… et ils s’étonnent que la planète soit malade !

  • angelo s.

    The budget of Switzerland is about $65 billion. An income for all of $2800 montlhy is $33,600 a year. there are about 8 million swiss citizens. So 8million times 33,600 is about $270 billion, which is about 4 times of the swiss budget. It is a beautiful and wonderful idea but can someone tell me how can this work, raising the national budget times four just for the basic income?

    • You have to remember what UBI does, it gives back to EVERYONE, including the people who pay the taxes to support it. Most people are net tax payers. So, there taxes will go up, but they’ll get $2800 back every month. If your taxes go up by 2800, but you get 2800 back in UBI, it cost you nothing–or that much of it costs you nothing. So, most of the cost you mention is given right back to the people who pay the taxes, and it is not a real cost to them or to anyone. The only real cost is the net re-distributive cost. The amount your taking from the wealthier people & giving to the less wealthy. This cost will be much less than the $270 billion figure you quote. It will still involve an increase in the Swiss budget. But not an unaffordable increase.

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