SWITZERLAND: Zurich city parliament decides to examine a Basic Income pilot project for two city districts

In a 2016 vote regarding a Basic Income initiative in Switzerland (rejected by 76% of the people), two districts in Zurich voted in favor of the initiative. In November of 2017, the Zurich parliament accepted a parliamentary postulate that proposes the launch of a Basic Income pilot project in these two districts. The city council has two years to examine the proposal and to evaluate the conditions and necessities of such a pilot project. It may be likely that the city council will reject the proposition since the Councilor in charge, Raphael Golta, has already expressed his negative stance towards the principles of Basic Income as well as towards the postulate—which was brought to parliament by his own social-democratic party.

One week later in a newspaper interview, Philip Kovce rejected the proposed Basic Income pilot project in Zurich as well as pilot projects in general. Kovce is the co-author of a manifesto on Basic Income and of other publications, together with Daniel Häni, one of the leading promotors of the 2016 popular initiative. Kovce argues that the principles of a Basic Income should not be experimented with on a small scale, but rather fully understood through large popular discussions. With this view, he stands in opposition to the majority of Swiss Basic Income supporters, namely those of “Dein Grundeinkommen”, a spin-off of the “Generation Grundeinkommen”, which was the movement carrying the popular initiative.


More information at:

[In German]

Strad Zürich, “Auszug aus dem Protokoll des Stadtrats von Zürich [Excerpt from the minutes of the City Council of Zürich]“, May 17th 2017

Strad Zurich, “Existenzsicherung durch Erwerbsarbeit? Ein Beitrag zur diskussion über ein bedingungsloses grundeikommen [Livelihood through employment? A contribution to the discussion on an unconditional basic income]“, May 4th 2017

About Albert Joerimann

Albert Joerimann has written 9 articles.

Born in 1955, latest professional activities: translations, B.I. activist since 2003

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.

One comment

  • Tracie Smith

    I live in America and we are getting poorer everyday than we were when I grew up (I will be 46 on 1/24.). We have people here who live on the streets because there isn’t enough affordable housing, which isn’t that affordable.
    People don’t realize when they come here that the American people are either so rich they get brain damage when they try to count their money or we are so poor that we stop short from putting our heads through the wall trying to figure how to pay everything on time.
    A basic income would help those of us who are very poor. Oh by the way, recently hit a whooping .81 on the Gini scale.

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