Category Archive: 3.) Investec

No relief for Swiss renters

Every three months the rate of interest used to set Swiss rents is reviewed. If it goes down some renters have the right to request a decrease in rent. This time it remained at 1.50%. The last time it dropped was 1 June 2017 when it fell to its lowest level since 2008.

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House Prices Down in Verbier but Up in Some other Swiss resorts

A recent report published by UBS shows real estate price changes in european mountain resorts. Over the last year, Verbier (-3.2%) and Crans Montana (-3.0%) experienced the largest price declines, while Saas Fee (+14.3%) and St. Moritz (+7.4%) climbed the most.

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Pay in Zurich and Geneva highest in the world

A survey of the cost of living in 77 cities, by UBS, ranks Zurich (1st) and Geneva (2nd) as the most expensive. But while these cities are the most expensive, their workers are also the highest paid. In Zurich, less than five days pay affords an iPhone X. In Geneva, the same device requires less than six days of labour.

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Switzerland second hardest working nation in Europe

Recent statistics show that the average full-time employee in Switzerland worked 42.6 hours a week. This is slightly less than an average Icelander (42.9) – the longest working – but 13% longer than the average in leisurely France (37.4), the european nation putting in the fewest hours.

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High Swiss Drug Prices – Campaign Presents a Solution to Swiss government

This week, the Swiss NGO Public Eye, launched a campaign for more affordable medicine in Switzerland under the slogan: protect patients, not patents. The NGO says high prices, of cancer drugs in particular, is not only an issue affecting developing nations but wealthy ones too. It says that cancer treatments in Switzerland often cost over CHF 100,000 a year.

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Switzerland Drops in Economic Competitiveness Ranking

While Switzerland remains in the top five with the same other four countries in this year’s IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, it slipped from second to fifth place. The United States rose from fourth to first, second and third places went to Hong Kong and Singapore, and fourth place to the Netherlands.

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Fribourg – moves to axe government pensions for life

Switzerland’s government is working hard to find ways to fix a looming state pension shortfall. Two politicians in the canton of Fribourg have decided to seek savings by attempting to cut lifetime government pensions granted after short stints in the job, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.

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Switzerland’s vote to change its monetary system – sensible or silly?

Sometimes Swiss voters are presented with questions that only specialists are equipped to answer. The vote on 10 June 2018 to change their monetary system appears to be one of these. On the surface it appears simple. Upon closer inspection it contains much complexity and uncertainty, compounded by a widespread misunderstanding of how the financial system works – banks do not act simply as intermediaries, lending out the deposits that savers place...

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Swiss Rail drops plan to put Wi-Fi in trains

Swiss Rail has dropped plans to install Wi-Fi in its trains, according to the newspaper Le Matin. After a survey revealed that customers would only use on-board Wi-Fi it was free, the company decided there was no justifiable way to cover the cost, according the the newspaper. Swiss Rail is not prepared to bear the costs the mobile operators would charge them for the service and cannot not justify adding the cost to ticket prices.

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Median Swiss salary rises

Swiss salaries have risen according to a recently published report by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office. The median gross monthly salary was CHF 6,5021 in 2016, CHF 313 higher than in 2014. 50% of Swiss workers earned more than this and 50% earned less.

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Child care tax deductions set to rise in Switzerland

Switzerland’s Federal Council, or cabinet, plans to increase the maximum annual deduction for child care costs to CHF 25,000 per child, up from CHF 12,100. This would allow parents to deduct up to this amount from their income for federal tax purposes but would not affect canton and commune taxes. Deductions could not exceed the amount spent.

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Internships – Switzerland’s Young Socialists caught preaching one thing and practicing another

In collaboration with the Swiss union Unia, Switzerland’s Young Socialists have launched a protest against the exploitation of interns. To get on the career ladder, many young people feel compelled to take internships offering little or no pay. The Young Socialists are demanding interns be better paid. Recent data from the Federal Statistical Office shows that 23% of young workers (15-24) are on short-term contracts, 41% of them interns.

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Late trains – Switzerland’s delay hotspots

The cliché of Swiss trains always being on time is challenged by data published on the website opentransportdata.swiss. Analysis of this data by 20 Minuten, shows the most frequently delayed trains arrive from Italy. Mendrisio, near the Italian border in the canton of Ticino, was the worst performing station with 30% of trains delayed by 3 minutes or more. Italian delays also affect Swiss trains from Domodossola and Brig.

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Switzerland most expensive for meat

Switzerland has the world’s most expensive meat according to a survey compiled by Caterwings in Germany. The survey, which looks at meat prices in 52 countries, ranks Swiss prices at the top across all meat categories. On average, Swiss shoppers pay 142% more than the average across all meat categories.

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Is Swiss inflation back to stay?

Swiss inflation reappeared in February 2018 and has continued. According to the Federal Statistical Office, inflation was 0.2% in April. Since the beginning of 2018, prices have risen 0.9%. Jan-Egbert Sturm of the KOF Swiss Economic Institute says it shows the Swiss economy is doing well, and that inflation is close to what is “normal” in Switzerland.

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Some Swiss train fares to fall in June

This week, ch-direct, an association of public transport providers that sets ticket prices, announced there would be no ticket price rises in 2019. Instead the prices of some tickets will fall slightly on 1 June 2018. The price small cuts on standard fares in June relate to the shift from 8.0% to 7.7% VAT at the beginning of the year.

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Basel airport – night time take-offs to be cut in half

For those who fly regularly, living close to an airport might be convenient, but it’s also noisy. To reduce noise, Basel-Mulhouse airport has decided to reduce the number of flights taking off between 11pm and midnight by half, according to a press release. Unlike Geneva airport, which is located entirely on Swiss soil but still operates a French side, Basel-Mulhouse, Switzerland’s third major airport is on French territory, but run by the Swiss.

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Taxes – one in seven in some Swiss cantons has unpaid tax

The cantons of Neuchâtel (14.7%) and Geneva (14.6%) have the highest percentages of taxpayers owing money, according to the newspaper SonntagsBlick. Fribourg (12.6%), Bern (9.5%) and Luzern (6.5%) complete the top-five. Vaud (5.9%), Basel-City (5.5%) and Zurich (2.4%) are further down. Aargau (2.0%) and Uri (1.0%) sit at the bottom with fewest with oustanding tax payments.

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Healthcare costs rise further in Switzerland

Statistics published today show a further rise in Swiss healthcare costs. In 2016, spending on healthcare rose by 3.8% reaching over CHF 80 billion, 12.2% of GDP. In 2015, Swiss healthcare spending was equal to 11.9% of GDP. The challenge of rising healthcare costs is not confined to Switzerland. In the UK in 2015, healthcare costs rose 3.6% to reach 9.9% of GDP.

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