Life in Switzerland is getting expensive.
Ruedi Studer and Sermin Fakio
Higher energy prices, premium shock, inflation. There is less and less in people’s pockets. While many are boiling over the loss of purchasing power, the Federal Council is shedding its blood. He sees no need for immediate measures against high energy prices and inflation. “The Federal Council is of the opinion that the previous price increase for houses is manageable,” the government said last week.
And she remains on that course. Inflation is almost three times lower here than abroad, the share of energy costs in the domestic budget is only half as large, pacifies SVP Finance Minister Uli Maurer (71) on Blick TV. Even though energy prices are likely to remain high for years to come, the Federal Council does not want to interfere.
“It can’t be that the state is subsidizing something now and can’t get out of it,” says Maurer. “I am assuming that this should be compensated by the cost of living allowance.” So employers should fix this.
Does the Federal Council Skimp on Pensioners?
When it comes to AHV pensions, however, the federal government is in charge. Growth is planned for 2023. However, because it is based on a so-called composite index, which takes into account price and wage growth, an adjustment is unlikely to offset inflation.
A centre-left coalition wants to change that in the autumn season. SP and Mitte are demanding compensation of full expenses for AHV and IV pension as well as supplementary benefits till 2023. However, things are getting tighter in parliament – Mitte, the SP and the Greens get 100 out of 200 votes. National Council. Further, SVP presses the brakes with a counterattack. She doesn’t want an exception in today’s mixed index.
The decision also has an impact on social support. Adjustment of the basic need for sustenance – which usually entails the cost of electricity – is based on supplemental benefits. But mostly with a delay of one year, that is, till 2024.
Given inflation, the Swiss Conference for Social Welfare (Skoss) is now recommending that cantons adjust to inflation by early 2023 if the Scouss shopping basket rises above three percent. In June it was even lower. “If inflation should rise above five percent, Scouse will work for short-term adjustments in coordination with supplemental benefits,” explains spokeswoman Ingrid Hayes.
Premium reduction or tax deduction
Health care costs are also a big part. The decision in Parliament to increase the federal contribution to the reduction of premiums by 30 percent turned into a nail-biter. Here too, SP and Mitte are working together to reduce the premium shock and thereby provide relief to low and middle income earners.
SVP also counters: In one proposal, they demand that premiums be deducted entirely from direct federal taxes—though progress favors more income.
Pierre-Yves Maillard: “It’s all going in the wrong direction!”,01:38,
The party also wants to start with fuel prices: the federal government should temporarily waive its share of the mineral oil tax. And the value of the rent charged should fall at least for the pensioners.
extraordinary purchasing power session
All these initiatives will be decided by the National Council in an extraordinary session on the issue of purchasing power. Recipes vary so widely that there is a risk of blockade. And the public is again left empty handed.