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Citizen's Income

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http://www.nbcnews.com/business/2-800-month-every-adult-it-could-happen-switzerland-8C11354757

There have been a lot of Negative Income Tax / Citizen's Income threads on this site. It seems that the Swiss are going to vote on implementing the idea.

Milton Friedman is my favourite economist. I think that Switzerland is the most democratic nation on earth. It will be interesting to see what happens here.

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They are looking at £1400ish per adult,nothing for children.Thats more than most people earn here.Wed be looking at around £300-£400 per adult in the UK yet it isn't even on the agenda.

That's it isn't yet.It will be once left and right see welfare can never be reformed,,it just keeps growing.

Interesting to see what happens with that vote,,but the amount seems very very high for a CI,

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http://www.nbcnews.com/business/2-800-month-every-adult-it-could-happen-switzerland-8C11354757

There have been a lot of Negative Income Tax / Citizen's Income threads on this site. It seems that the Swiss are going to vote on implementing the idea.

Milton Friedman is my favourite economist. I think that Switzerland is the most democratic nation on earth. It will be interesting to see what happens here.

Very interesting.

But I agree with durhamborn, IMHO 2500CHF/mo is way too much. It's actually £1,718 now BTW.

Besides, the main point of a CI is to remove perverse incentives, but at this level CI becomes itself a perverse incentive, and much broader than means-tested benefits.

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the amount seems very very high for a CI,

It depends on the standard of living that CHF2500 per adult buys you in Switzerland. Might not be that high. There's not much point in a CI which isn't high enough for the unemployed and sick/elderly to survive on as it would still be necessary to provide other benefits.

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It depends on the standard of living that CHF2500 per adult buys you in Switzerland. Might not be that high. There's not much point in a CI which isn't high enough for the unemployed and sick/elderly to survive on as it would still be necessary to provide other benefits.

CHF30k per annum would be a pretty low 'salary' but would be enough to provide a reasonable roof over your head and feed and clothe yourself as well as paying health insurance. There wouldn't be much left over to pay for regular takeaways, booze, cigs and the local equivalent of Sky TV though.

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I would guess that the vote will fail by a long way because the step is far too radical for most people to accept on first hearing. People have been fed 'benefit scrounger' style stories for so long, it will be difficult to alter that simple thought.

However, I do see it as a good thing to raise its profile and to encourage serious debate. I think many more will be won over simply because of the vote - and all over the world, not just Switzerland.

It is an idea that will gather momentum and will find its time one day.

People have been fed 'benefit scroungers' propaganda here, but what about in Switzerland ?

Having read the article I would be cautiously optimistic that it will pass, given some of the other things that have been implemented or to be voted on you get a sense the Swiss aren't messing around.

Edited by Ulfar

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It depends on the standard of living that CHF2500 per adult buys you in Switzerland. Might not be that high. There's not much point in a CI which isn't high enough for the unemployed and sick/elderly to survive on as it would still be necessary to provide other benefits.

I've found this:

Switzerland, as a country, actually does not have a minimum wage written into law. It does have collective bargaining agreements between its workers and management and almost the entire population is covered by it. The minimum salary of skilled workers ranges from 2,800 to 5,300 Swiss francs, while that of unskilled workers may be anywhere between 2,200 to 4,200 Swiss francs.

http://www.therichest.com/business/the-top-10-countries-with-the-highest-minimum-wages/

I think CI should be just enough to provide for a very basic, simple, minimum standard of life. Remember that people will still be allowed to work, to top up this basic income. Besides, trying to start at such high level will also make it much more difficult, politically, to win this referendum.

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I agree,CI is meant to be much harsher than benefits.It NEEDS to be like that to work.However the fact there are no hoops to jump through is the pay off.That and the fact all work then pays.

The ideal CI rate would make sure you were still in poverty but a few hours work on top lifted you out.It also removes from the left the bleeding heart stories and from the right the scrounger ones.

The big problem with CI is it would hit rentiers hard with housing benefit removed.The banks and the BTL brigade would fight a CI all the way here.

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I think CI should be just enough to provide for a very basic, simple, minimum standard of life.

Yes. I don't know how many CHF that would equate to in Switzerland though. Your link quotes CHF2200 for unskilled workers, but for all we know they may also get tax credits and other welfare top-ups as low-paid workers do in the UK.

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I agree,CI is meant to be much harsher than benefits.It NEEDS to be like that to work.However the fact there are no hoops to jump through is the pay off.That and the fact all work then pays.

The ideal CI rate would make sure you were still in poverty but a few hours work on top lifted you out.It also removes from the left the bleeding heart stories and from the right the scrounger ones.

The big problem with CI is it would hit rentiers hard with housing benefit removed.The banks and the BTL brigade would fight a CI all the way here.

I agree with the underlying principle of CI, but what do you do with cases of genuine disability where work is realistically impossible, and the disability requires extra living / medical costs - if you bring in 'top-up' CI to those that require it, are you not just re-introducing the whole bureaucratic mess and all the associated problems - but otherwise you will have people with genuine issues in genuine poverty. I'm never quite sure how to square that circle, but I could easily be missing something...

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I`ve just put in a claim for long term sickness benefit, I`ll be happy if I can get 130 per week (the wife`s a student)....

...would be happy to get CI at the same level.

Not being swiss I don`t need a Merc.

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I agree with the underlying principle of CI, but what do you do with cases of genuine disability where work is realistically impossible, and the disability requires extra living / medical costs - if you bring in 'top-up' CI to those that require it, are you not just re-introducing the whole bureaucratic mess and all the associated problems - but otherwise you will have people with genuine issues in genuine poverty. I'm never quite sure how to square that circle, but I could easily be missing something...

I am sort of against giving disabled people extra money however I am not against giving disabled people extra help. If a disabled person is able to drive they can work as a taxi driver for perhaps another 10 disabled people.

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I was on a snowboarding holiday in Sass Fee back in march this year, got talking to some British lads who were working in the hotel bar they told me how much you can earn doing lowly everyday jobs in Switzerland, the minimum wage is quite good although Switzerland is an expensive place to live. They were really happy with what they were earning and had no desire to return to the UK, they were already looking around for follow up summer season jobs.

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I agree with the underlying principle of CI, but what do you do with cases of genuine disability where work is realistically impossible, and the disability requires extra living / medical costs - if you bring in 'top-up' CI to those that require it, are you not just re-introducing the whole bureaucratic mess and all the associated problems - but otherwise you will have people with genuine issues in genuine poverty. I'm never quite sure how to square that circle, but I could easily be missing something...

The trick is for the healthcare system to be well defined and designed. In the Swiss case, they have mandatory private health insurance with 3 risk pools (0-18, 19-25, 26+). If the health insurance scheme is well defined and designed, it will cover the additional living / medical costs of people with genuine disabilities.

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I am sort of against giving disabled people extra money however I am not against giving disabled people extra help. If a disabled person is able to drive they can work as a taxi driver for perhaps another 10 disabled people.

(1) What do the other 10 do?

(2) What happens when driverless cars take over? (Sooner than you may think. See thread here.)

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I agree with the underlying principle of CI, but what do you do with cases of genuine disability where work is realistically impossible, and the disability requires extra living / medical costs - if you bring in 'top-up' CI to those that require it, are you not just re-introducing the whole bureaucratic mess and all the associated problems - but otherwise you will have people with genuine issues in genuine poverty. I'm never quite sure how to square that circle, but I could easily be missing something...

You can do one of two things (or both).

The day you bring CI in you also make having some kind of insurance against disability mandatory.Everybody will have an income and so you could argue then it was up to the individual/parent etc.

The 2nd option is the one benefit on top you keep is DLA (now PIP).

Id see no reason why you couldn't keep that as well as CI as its none means tested now.That on top of CI would solve the problem.It also has different rates for how disabled etc so it would be perfect to keep as the only other benefit.

Id prefer to just go with the DLA/PIP option rather than insurance.

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Besides, the main point of a CI is to remove perverse incentives, but at this level CI becomes itself a perverse incentive, and much broader than means-tested benefits.

The same thing could be said about low levels of personal taxation- they are an incentive not to work- assuming you accept the logic that when people have 'enough' they stop working.

If that were true the way to incentivise high earners would be to tax them more, not less- lest their high incomes lead to indolence and they cease to be the 'welath creators' they are claimed to be.

In reality even rich people will work because they want more- why would the same thing not apply in the case of the Swiss?

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Id prefer to just go with the DLA/PIP option rather than insurance.

And so the system would start to become more complicated, and give people an incentive to exaggerated/emphasise their disability.

The problem with the benefit system is this – politicians make changes to the system for short-term political gain without thinking of the long-term consequences. Over time, the same problem with occur to the CI.

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The 'Generation Basic Income' - give us free money - at least pulled off an interesting PR stunt in the run-up to this vote they managed to get tabled.

Streets of Basel paved with gold: 15 TONS of five cent coins are dumped on city's streets as protesters demand a basic minimum income for every Swiss household

article-2443812-1884657800000578-869_634x397.jpg

Activists pile 8 Mio five-centime pieces, one for each citizen in Switzerland, into a bank vault

article-2443812-18845A0400000578-234_634x421.jpg

more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2443812/Streets-Basel-paved-gold-15-TONS-cent-coins-dumped-citys-streets-protesters-demand-increased-minimum-wage.html

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I agree with the underlying principle of CI, but what do you do with cases of genuine disability where work is realistically impossible, and the disability requires extra living / medical costs - if you bring in 'top-up' CI to those that require it, are you not just re-introducing the whole bureaucratic mess and all the associated problems - but otherwise you will have people with genuine issues in genuine poverty. I'm never quite sure how to square that circle, but I could easily be missing something...

Give them whatever they need as long as it isn't cash or it will get gamed.

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