5-speed listening (Level 5)

Swiss vote no to free monthly income for all






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Swiss voters have rejected a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic monthly income for all citizens. Almost 77 per cent of voters opposed the plan in a referendum. The idea was for a minimum salary for those who have been a citizen for five years, whether they worked or not. The monthly amount could be around $2,500. Supporters of the idea argued that it was necessary to replace Switzerland's social welfare system. A spokesperson said it would help fight poverty and inequality. He added that it would give more money to people who earned less than the minimum wage.

Supporters argued that because work was becoming more automated, there were fewer jobs available. Che Wagner from the campaign group Basic Income Switzerland said the income would not be money for nothing. He said: "In Switzerland, over 50 per cent of total work that is done is unpaid. It's care work. It's at home. It's in different communities, so that work would be more valued with a basic income." Opponents said it would cause immigration problems. The Swiss People's Party said: "You would have billions of people who would try to move into Switzerland."

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