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Signatures collected for vote on tax deduction for parents

Opponents of the tax breaks say it will not benefit the middle class and would be a gift for wealthy families instead. (© Keystone / Gaetan Bally)

Opponents of a proposal to increase tax deductions for parents have succeeded in collecting enough signatures to force a referendum on the subject.

On Tuesday the leftwing Social Democratic Party submitted the necessary signatures required to trigger a referendum. The party is opposed to a “tax bonus for rich parents” and collected 60,000 signatures in two-and-a-half months to force a nationwide vote on the reform, approved by parliament last September.

The reform aims to enable families to benefit from higher tax deductions for third-party childcare costs (CHF25,000 ($25,800) versus the current CHF10,100).

Against the advice of the government, parliament also included an increase in the general deduction for parents from CHF6,500 to CHF10,000 on taxable income. The aim is to combat the shortage of qualified personnel, in particular by encouraging qualified mothers to remain in the labour market.

The Social Democrats are against the reform as it would decrease tax revenue. The tax loss amounts to around CHF370 million, they argue on the basis of federal tax figures. The Greens, the Liberal Greens and trade unions also participated in the collection of signatures for the referendum.

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