A 100 Swiss franc banknote rests on top of lower denomination notes in an arranged photograph in Bern, Switzerland. (Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg)

Free Money? Swiss Village Can’t Raise Enough Funds to Experiment

(Bloomberg) -- A village in northern Switzerland hoping to pay people up to 2,500 francs ($2,510) a month has failed to raise enough funds for the basic income project.

The crowdfunding campaign yielded just 151,836 francs, a fraction of the 6.1 million francs required for the experiment.

More than half the 1,300 inhabitants of Rheinau, by the River Rhine close to the German border, had signed up to be part of the test. It was led by filmmaker Rebecca Panian, who hoped to make a film about it and had set a self-imposed deadline of Tuesday for the fund raising.

Although the concept of paying people money with no strings attached has been around for more than a century, it has garnered more attention in recent years due to worries about rising inequality and jobs losses due to automation.

The Swiss rejected an unconditional basic income in a national plebiscite in 2016.

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