Swiss Village to Pay Residents $2,500 a Month to do Nothing

A village in Switzerland plans to introduce a basic income system which pays residents $2,500 a month for doing nothing.

Residents of Rheinau, on the Rhine River at the border with Germany, voted in favor of introducing the ambitious project in a recent poll.

The village hopes to pay participants up to $2,500 a month to ensure they have a guaranteed income regardless of their employment status.

The village council decided to accept this plan after more than half of Rheinau’s 1,300 residents signed up to take part, and efforts to secure funding will begin shortly.

The decision comes two years after a proposal for a nationwide unconditional state stipend in Switzerland failed to pass in a national vote. The project is the idea of Swiss filmmaker Rebecca Panian, who said she was inspired by the rejected national scheme and views it as an experiment into an unconditional basic income.

Panian said that over 100 villages expressed interest, but the reason she chose Rheinau is because she wanted to find a “kind of mini-Switzerland, with a well-mixed population” to test the idea.

The plan ensures participants will receive a basic monthly income based on their age, ranging from $640 for under-18s to $2,500 for those aged over 25.

The deadline to sign up to the scheme is Sept. 15, and on Monday 702 of the village’s 1,300 residents had registered.

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