Swiss to vote on 2,500 franc basic income for every adult

(Reuters) - Switzerland will hold a vote on whether to introduce a basic income 
for all adults, in a further sign of growing public activism over pay 
inequality since the financial crisis.

A grassroots committee is calling for all adults in Switzerland to receive an 
unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800) per month from the state, 
with the aim of providing a financial safety net for the population.

Organizers submitted more than the 100,000 signatures needed to call a 
referendum on Friday and tipped a truckload of 8 million five-rappen coins 
outside the parliament building in Berne, one for each person living in 

Under Swiss law, citizens can organize popular initiatives that allow the 
channeling of public anger into direct political action. The country usually 
holds several referenda a year.

In March, Swiss voters backed some of the world's strictest controls on 
executive pay, forcing public companies to give shareholders a binding vote on 

A separate proposal to limit monthly executive pay to no more than what the 
company's lowest-paid staff earn in a year, the so-called 1:12 initiative, 
faces a popular vote on November 24.

The initiative's organizing committee said the basic income could partly be 
financed through money from social insurance systems in Switzerland.

The timing of the vote has yet to be announced, pending official guidance from 
the government.

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