Well-known Austrian entrepreneur Josef Zotter believes basic income would empower innovation and relieve people from existential fears.

In a recent interview with the newspaper Der Standard, in which he was accompanied by the Finance Minister of Austria, the founder of the chocolate manufacturer Zotter expressed again his support for unconditional basic income.

With basic income, “people can rest and recover their freedom. Thus basic income would also unleash innovation.” and relieve people from their “existential fears.”

According to Zotter, an unconditional basic income would also solve the pension issue. “Then we no longer have to talk about whether someone retires with 62 or 65 years.” he said.

Asked on whether he supported the idea, the Conservative Austrian minister of finance, Hans Jörg Schelling, fiercely rejected Zotter’s basic income proposal: “Of course I’m against it. Most Austrians are highly satisfied with their jobs. Performance must be rewarded.” he said.

Like German entrepreneur and basic income supporter Götz Werner, Zotter suggests increasing taxes on consumption instead of other taxes in order to ensure international competitiveness of Austrian business.

Zotter had already expressed his support for basic income in the second edition of his biography, ‘Kopfstand mit frischen Fischen – Mein Weg aus der Krise’. Zotter, born in 1961, produces hand-scooped organic fair trade chocolate. The company currently employs 160 people in the city of Riegersburg.

With contribution from Christof Lammer

Credit picture: CC salzburger.land

About Stanislas Jourdan

Stanislas Jourdan has written 43 articles.