People cast their ballots during a vote on whether to give every adult citizen a basic guaranteed monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,560), in a school in Bern, Switzerland, June 5, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich
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Swiss voters rejected by a wide margin Sunday a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for everyone living in the wealthy country after an uneasy debate about the future of work at a time of increasing automation.Projections by the GFS polling outfit for Swiss broadcaster SRF showed nearly four out of five voters opposed the bold social experiment launched by Basel cafe owner Daniel Haeni and allies in a vote under the Swiss system of direct democracy.Conservative Switzerland is the first country to hold a national referendum on an unconditional basic income, but others including Finland are examining similar plans as societies ponder a world in which robots replace humans in the workforce.The Swiss government had urged voters to reject the campaign, saying the scheme would cost too much and undermine societal cohesion.The government estimated the proposal would have cost 208 billion Swiss francs a year, significantly weakened the economy and discouraged people, especially low earners, from working.
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