Category Archive: 3.) Investec

Switzerland’s young socialists restart the debate on first class train seats

Recently, members of the young socialists raised the debate of the social inequalities associated with two ticket classes again while on trains travelling between Fribourg and Bern. They complain that at periods of peak demand second class carriages are overflowing, while first class ones often have space and spare seats.

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Economiesuisse warns of economic dangers of vote against foreign judges

The business and industry association Economiesuisse says the up-coming vote on 25 November 2018 on self-determination puts the Swiss economy at risk. The Swiss People’s Party led initiative entitled: Federal law instead of foreign judges, aims to cement the primacy of Swiss law over international law by adding a clause to Switzerland’s constitution.

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Geneva set to vote on maintaining public spending in the face of company tax reform

An initiative entitled: zero losses, was filed this week in Geneva. It aims to ring fence current public spending in the face of future company tax reform. The initiative gathered 9,147 signatures, more than the 7,840 required.

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Switzerland’s special tax deals less attractive from 2021

Foreigners who don’t work in Switzerland can benefit from special tax deals known as lump sum taxation, or for fait fiscal in French. Instead of paying tax on their worldwide income and assets their tax is calculated based on their living expenses. When someone becomes Swiss they automatically lose eligibility.

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Majority favours later retirement for women, according to survey

In Switzerland, the official retirement age for women is 64, a year earlier than it is for men. A poll by gfs.bern shows that around two thirds are in favour of raising the retirement age of women to 65. Only 16% are against the idea, with a further 18% somewhat against it. Men (78%) are more in favour of the change than women (54%), according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.

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The large tax differences between Swiss cantons

In Switzerland, tax is largely determined by the canton of residence. The range of tax rates is wide. In 2017, a single person earning CHF 100,000 paid only CHF 7,592 in the canton of Zug but CHF 19,233 in the canton of Neuchâtel, more than 2.5 times as much. Someone married with children earning the same amount paid CHF 920 in Zug and CHF 9,249 in Neuchâtel, more than 10 times as much.

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EU migration into Switzerland down significantly in 2017

Net migration into Switzerland from the EU was down by 11% last year, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). In 2017, a net 31,250 people from the EU and EFTA moved to Switzerland. And, with a 4% decline in the number arriving over the five months to May 2018, the fall looks set to continue.

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TV Recording could be under threat in Switzerland

With TV recording there’s no need to miss programmes just because they’re on at the wrong time. And, when it’s time to watch them, it’s easy to fast forward through the adverts, something that can’t be done when watching live. In Switzerland, television recording is offered by big distributers, such as Swisscom, Sunrise and UPC. Broadcasters don’t provide it.

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Swiss VAT might rise to fund lower company tax rates

Historically, Switzerland has offered certain foreign companies special preferential tax deals in order to attract them. In response to international pressure, the current system is to be phased out replacing preferential tax rates with lower universal ones in the hope that these companies will stay.

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Swiss Town Tests Blockchain-Based Voting

On 25 June 2018, the city of Zug, the town at the heart of Switzerland’s crypto valley, started testing a voting system based on blockchain technology. During the trial, which runs until 1 July 2018, around 200 voters will cast non-binding municipal votes on mock questions in a trial designed to identify any bugs in a system built by the company Luxsoft and the computer science department of Lucerne’s University of Applied Sciences.

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Geneva set to vote on world’s highest minimum wage

In May 2014, Switzerland voted against a minimum wage of CHF 22 an hour. At some point voters in the canton of Geneva will get to vote on a similar initiative, which would apply only in the canton. Similar to the federal vote, which was rejected by 76.3% of Swiss voters, the plan calls for a minimum hourly wage of CHF 23 ($US 23.40). Based on a 40-hour week, this works out at around CHF 4,000 per month.

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EU Unemployment Rule change could cost Switzerland dearly

Currently, across EU and EFTA countries, unemployment benefits are paid by the country of residence. Last week, the EU announced plans to make the country of employment pay unemployment benefits instead. This change could be costly for Swiss cantons with large numbers of cross-border workers, workers who live in the EU but work in Switzerland.

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Nearly 1 in 20 in Switzerland are millionaires, according wealth to report

The 2017, a wealth report, published by Capgemini, shows there were 389,000 US$ millionaires in Switzerland, around 4.5% of the population, or close to 1 in 20. If children under the age of 15 are excluded, Switzerland’s millionaire percentage rises to 7.3%. In addition, these figures include only investable wealth, which does not include the value of family homes.

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Swiss residential property risks growing in buy to let, according to Swiss National Bank

On 21 June 2018, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced its decision on interest rates, which it left unchanged. Switzerland’s economy has been sailing into the headwinds of a strong currency since the SNB scrapped its exchange rate cap in January 2015 and the Swiss franc briefly went beyond parity with the euro.

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The price of solidarity – Switzerland’s inter-cantonal payments for 2019

In Switzerland, much in life revolves around the canton. Cantons have their own health, social and education systems, parliaments and tax rates. Federal government, based in Bern, is a layer that sits over the top, bringing the cantons together as Switzerland.

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Swiss Offshore Wealth Management Sector still World’s Largest by far

A report by The Boston Consulting Group highlights the size of Switzerland’s personal offshore wealth management sector. Total personal offshore wealth grew by 6% to reach US$8.2 trillion in 2017. US$2.3 trillion (28%) of this was managed in Switzerland. The top three offshore centres: Switzerland ($2.3 trillion), Hong Kong ($1.1 trillion) and Singapore ($0.9 trillion) made up more than half (52%) of the total.

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Swiss Unemployment Continues to Fall

The number of registered unemployed in Switzerland dropped by 9% in May 2018 to a rate of 2.4%, down from 2.7% in April, according to a report by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The rate in May 2018 was 22% lower than in May 2017.

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Switzerland’s parliament narrowly votes for women’s quotas on company boards

Yesterday, Switzerland’s National Council, or parliament, voted 95 to 94, with 3 abstentions, to introduce quotas for the management and boards of quoted companies. Boards will be required to have 30% women and management teams 20%. The rules could affect 250 companies.

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Vaud Plans Tax Cuts

The residents of Vaud are among the highest taxed in Switzerland. In 2016, a single person in Lausanne earning CHF 100,000 paid CHF 16,050 in cantonal and communal tax on top of CHF 1,840 of federal tax. This was the fourth highest across all of Switzerland’s 26 cantonal capitals, and almost triple Zug, the lowest, where the figure was CHF 5,750 – see chart below.

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Swiss pensions – lump sum withdrawal restrictions rejected by Council of States

Against the wishes of the Federal Council, Switzerland’s upper house, the Council of States, rejected a plan to prevent people from withdrawing lump sums from their 2nd Pillar pensions, according to the newspaper Tribune de Genève. Last week, the Council of States voted 25 to 15 to reject the plan.

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