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23-Jun-2016 01:35

54 percent of the people polled said they would use the extra income to further their education, and almost as many said they would spend more time with their families.

'Yes' would be a surprise Straub, whose initiative started preparing for the referendum seven years ago, says he can understand the critics to a certain degree: his initial reaction when he first heard about the concept ten years ago was, There's no way this can ever be financed.

A guaranteed income for everyone, no questions asked. "The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income," Martin Luther King Jr. 'Quite a paradigm change' UBI "gives everybody the basics to live on and based on that, to live a full life," argues Daniel Straub, president of the Swiss initiative For an Unconditional Basic Income.

Relieved of the pressure to make ends meet, people would be more creative and productive, advocates say.

Concerns also include the risks of immigration, tax hikes to finance the project, the possible disappearance of certain products and services if many people no longer needed to work to make a living - and in general, the disincentive to work.

In a recent survey by pollsters Demoscope, the vast majority of Swiss citizens interviewed said they would continue to work even if they had a basic income - only two percent said they would not work.

Today, he says a UBI would replace part of people's income.

The Swiss government and all the Swiss political parties have opposed the idea, with criticism ranging from blasting the initiative as dangerous and harmful, to arguing that it couldn't be financed in any case."The answer," Straub remembers, "was complete silence." "It's not a revolution where we want to kill the current system, the market economy has a lot of advantages," says Daniel Straub.