Swiss Village to Pay Residents £2,000 a Month
A village in Switzerland plans to introduce a basic income system which pays residents £2,000 a month for doing NOTHING.
Residents of Rheinau, on the Rhine River at the border with Germany, voted in favour of introducing the ambitious project in a recent poll.
The village hopes to pay participants up to 2,500 Swiss francs (£1,970) a month to ensure they have a guaranteed income regardless of their employment status.
The village council decided to accept this plan after more than half of Rheinau’s 1,300 residents signed up to take part, and efforts to secure funding will begin shortly.
The decision comes two years after a proposal for a nationwide unconditional state stipend in Switzerland failed to pass in a national vote.
The project is the idea of Swiss film-maker Rebecca Panian, who said she was inspired by the rejected national scheme and views it as an experiment into an unconditional basic income.
On the scheme’s website, she said: “The idea, and the new social system that would go with it, made sense to me.”
“And, given the social and economic changes around the world, it seemed sensible at least to test an idea for a new future before dismissing it as nonsense.”
Panian said that over 100 villages expressed interest, but the reason she chose Rheinau is because she wanted to find a “kind of mini-Switzerland, with a well-mixed population” to test the idea.
The plan ensures participants will receive a basic monthly income based on their age, ranging from £490 for under-18's to £1,970 for those aged over 25.
The deadline to sign up to the scheme is September 15 and on Monday 702 of the village’s 1,300 residents had registered.
This isn’t Switzerland’s first time trying something like this, either.
The world's first universal basic income referendum was rejected in Switzerland in June 2016, with a 76.9 percent majority.
Switzerland isn’t the first country to experiment with “free money”.
Spain was the second country to implement a petition in late 2015, bringing a debate to Parliament about universal basic income.
After the voting took place, Spain only received 185,000 signatures, making them fall short of the required amount.