According to 20 Minutes, those behind this June’s vote proposing a minimum income, have come up with a new way to fund it. They want a tax on electronic transactions.
The initiative calls for an unconditional minimum monthly income of CHF 2,500 for each adult and CHF 625 for each child. The projected annual cost of the plan is CHF 208 billion. CHF 55 billion of current annual spending on social benefits could be used to cover some of the cost, however this leaves a funding gap of CHF 153 billion. One idea is to increase Swiss VAT by 8 percent to raise a further CHF 25 billion. The remaining CHF 128 billion would then be funded from new taxes.
Talking to the Schweiz am Sonntag, initiative supporter and former confederation vice-chancellor, Oswald Sigg, described the proposed VAT rise as “..antisocial…” Instead he said “It could be financed by a new micro-tax that would be painless for everyone. The automatic micro-tax would be applied to all payments.” he explained.
Financial transactions have a value 300 times Switzerland’s GDP, so wouldn’t need to be taxed higher than 0.05% for example he added. “Those who move the most money pay the most.” More than 90 percent of transactions, such as high speed trading are made by the financial sector.
Not all of those proposing the initiative yet agree on how the universal minimum payment would be financed.
The Swiss federal council rejects the plan.
This vote is one of a number of popular initiatives that will be voted on on 5 June 2016.