Unconditional Basic Income: Lausanne dares the test 

Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

April 14, 2016

The City Parliament of Lausanne is giving the green light to a study of the effects of an Unconditional Basic Income within the framework of a pilot project. The ball is now in the court of the city’s Executive.

The city of Lausanne could well become the laboratory for testing the Unconditional Basic Income. On Tuesday evening (April 12, 2016), the City Parliament agreed by a small majority to advance a postulate by the Green, which recommends testing the Unconditional Basic Income within the framework of a pilot experiment.

A mere two months before the nationwide votation (referendum) on this subject, the decision acquires an over-regional significance. Following the Greens' proposal, the pilot project should be conducted as a scientific study in cooperation with the University of Lausanne.

The test persons, according to the President of the Greens of the city of Lausanne, are projected to be people who are receiving social welfare. This, for a pragmatic reason: „the pilot experiment should not gobble up any additional funds,“ says Léonore Porchet. For one half of the participants of the study, receiving the money will be subject to conditions, for the other, there will be no conditions. In this way, one hopes to study the effect of unconditionality on the willingness to work and on the health of the recipients. The City Government has now six months to work out a concrete proposal of how the pilot experiment should be implemented.

Andrea Nucera

Translated by Anne-Marie de Grazia