Europe

Swiss vote on plan to grant universal basic income to all

  • FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file pictire a huge poster reading “What would you do if your income were taken care of?” is pictured on the Plaine de Plainpalais square in Geneva, Switzerland.  The poster hints at a national referendum on June 5, were Swiss voters will have to decide on the introduction of an unconditional basic income for all. ( Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP)

    FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file pictire a huge poster reading “What would you do if your income were taken care of?” is pictured on the Plaine de Plainpalais square in Geneva, Switzerland. The poster hints at a national referendum on June 5, were Swiss voters will have to decide on the introduction of an unconditional basic income for all. ( Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -In this May 14, 2016 file picture, a huge poster reading “What would you do if your income were taken care of?” is pictured on the Plaine de Plainpalais square in Geneva, Switzerland.  The poster hints at a national referendum on June 5, were Swiss voters will have to decide on the introduction of an unconditional basic income for all.  ( Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP)

    FILE -In this May 14, 2016 file picture, a huge poster reading “What would you do if your income were taken care of?” is pictured on the Plaine de Plainpalais square in Geneva, Switzerland. The poster hints at a national referendum on June 5, were Swiss voters will have to decide on the introduction of an unconditional basic income for all. ( Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -In this May 14, 2016 file picture, a huge poster reading “What would you do if your income were taken care of?” is pictured on the Plaine de Plainpalais square in Geneva, Switzerland.  The poster hints at a national referendum on June 5, were Swiss voters will have to decide on the introduction of an unconditional basic income for all.  ( Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP)

    FILE -In this May 14, 2016 file picture, a huge poster reading “What would you do if your income were taken care of?” is pictured on the Plaine de Plainpalais square in Geneva, Switzerland. The poster hints at a national referendum on June 5, were Swiss voters will have to decide on the introduction of an unconditional basic income for all. ( Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Swiss are voting on a proposal that would guarantee everyone in the Alpine nation an unconditional basic income.

The referendum, which ends Sunday, was called after activists collected the necessary 100,000 signatures to force a vote on the issue.

Proponents argue that a basic income would free people from meaningless toil and allow them to pursue more productive or creative goals in life.

Critics say the plan would explode the state budget and encourage idleness.

Recent polls have indicated that a majority of Swiss reject the proposal.

If passed, experts say the minimum required to provide a basic living in this wealthy nation of 7 million people would be 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,560) per month.

Results are expected to be announced early Sunday afternoon.