The world's first vote on a universal basic income beaten 3:1. It didn't win in any canton

Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to introduce a guaranteed universal basic income.

All told, about 77% of Swiss voters were against the measure, which lost by at least 10 percentage points in all of the country’s 26 districts.

The plan would have allowed those earning less than the minimum to have their pay topped up. Those out of work would have been handed the full amount. The income would have been unconditional and untaxed, and it would have replaced various welfare payments.

The supporters camp had suggested a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (NZ$3,700) for adults and SFr625 for each child (NZ$925).

The amounts reflected the high cost of living in Switzerland. It is not clear how the plan would have affected people on higher salaries.

The supporters had also argued that since work was increasingly automated, fewer jobs were available for workers.

Switzerland is the first country to hold such a vote.

The idea is also under consideration elsewhere. In Finland, the government is considering a trial to give basic income to about 8,000 people from low-income groups.

And in the Dutch city of Utrecht is also developing a pilot project which will begin in January 2017.