Category Archive: 3.) Personal Finance

Swiss consumer sentiment nearly back to pre-crisis level

Consumer sentiment among Swiss households is improving, according to Switzerland’s economic affairs office (SECO). © Rosaria De Marco | Dreamstime.comIn April 2021, the consumer sentiment index climbed back to -7 points after reaching a low of -40 in early 2020. The level of -7 is close to the pre-crisis level of early 2020 and close to its long term average of -5. The primary reason for the rise in consumer sentiment is a...

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Swiss upper house votes to raise pension age for women

As Switzerland’s population ages the number of people paid state pension is rising relative to the number of workers funding it. Since 2014, more has been paid out than has been paid in. The most effective way to fix this imbalance is to raise the pension age. If the average life expectancy of a retiree is 15 years, then raising the pension age by one year will cut the cost by nearly 7%.

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Switzerland’s record breaking deficit in 2020

Switzerland’s federal accounts ended 2020 with a record-breaking deficit of CHF 15.8 billion. The deficit was caused by the pandemic.

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Poverty in Switzerland: fresh data on those struggling to get by

In 2019, the poverty line in Switzerland was CHF 27,348 (US$ 30,500) for a single person and CHF 47,712 (US$ 53,200) for a couple with two young children. The figures are calculated by SKOS based on the cost of living in Switzerland. People with incomes below these levels in Switzerland are considered to by living in poverty.

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Middle class shrinks in Switzerland

Statistics published at the end of January 2021 show a fall in the percentage of the population included in the definition of middle class in Switzerland.

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Swiss rents and property prices up in 2020 due to pandemic

The pandemic had a significant impact on Swiss real estate prices in 2020, according to industry experts.

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Switzerland’s population happy with the health system, according to survey

Switzerland’s health system is rated highly by the public, according to the latest survey conducted in eleven countries by the Commonwealth Fund Foundation.

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Swiss government promises one billion francs for Covid hit businesses

This week, Switzerland’s federal government decided to increase aid money to Covid hit businesses to CHF 1 billion.

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Public worker absenteeism costs Geneva 285 million francs a year

Public worker absenteeism in Geneva costs at least CHF 285 million, according to Heidi.news, which calculated the sum based on information contained in an internal document.

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Immigration slowdown hits Swiss rents

In 1999, Switzerland signed a deal with the EU allowing free movement of people between Switzerland and the bloc. The deal came into force in 2002. This led to a rise in immigration into Switzerland, which in turn eventually led to rising rents.

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Swiss Unemployment Falls in June 2020

The number unemployed in Switzerland at 30 June 2020, fell 5,709 in June to 159,289, according to the State Secretariat for the Economy (SECO). Switzerland’s unemployment rate fell from 3.4% to 3.2%. However, despite improving on May 2020, the number unemployed was 53,067 (+54.6%) higher than at the end of June 2019.

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Swiss parliament votes in favour of flight tax

A majority of Switzerland’s parliament voted in favour of introducing a tax on flights departing from Switzerland. 132 voted in favour of the tax, with 65 against. The tax would range from CHF 30 to CHF 120 depending on the distance and class of travel, according to 20 Minutes.

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Coronavirus: drop in revenue could leave Swiss hospitals with 3 billion loss

In Switzerland, the finances of hospitals are similar to those of a business. If revenues fall, as they did during the coronavirus pandemic, profits can turn into losses.

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Unemployment up sharply in April in Switzerland

The unemployment rate in Switzerland rose to 3.3% in April 2020, up from 2.9% the month before, a rise of nearly 14%. By 30 April 2020, there were 153,413 people registered as unemployed at Switzerland’s regional placement offices. Young workers were the hardest hit. Unemployment among those aged 15 to 24 rose by 18.1% compared to March 2020 and by 61.3% compared to April 2019.

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Potential relief for some Swiss renters

Every three months the rate of interest used to benchmark Swiss rents is reviewed. If it goes down some renters have the right to request a decrease in rent. This time the reference rate fell from 1.50% to 1.25%. The last time it dropped was 2 June 2017 when it fell to 1.5%. The rate is based on the average Swiss mortgage rate over three months.

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Portugal set to end tax holidays for foreign residents

Recently, the government of Portugal said it was looking at introducing a tax on foreigners residing in the country on special tax holidays, according to the magazine Bilan. Currently, foreigners moving to Portugal who spend at least 180 days a year in the country pay no income tax for a period of 10 years under a scheme that was launched 11 years ago.

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Poverty rate falls slightly in Switzerland

In 2018, the percentage of the population in Switzerland living below the poverty line fell from 8.2% (2017) to 7.9%, returning to the same level as it was in 2010. Most affected by poverty were those aged under 18 (9.6%) and those aged over 64 (13.7%).

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Switzerland moves closer to taxing flights

A Swiss parliamentary commission, tasked with looking at the introduction of an environmental tax on flights departing from Switzerland, recently voted in favour a such a tax. A majority of 17 to 8 members voted in favour of the move. The tax would range from CHF 30 to CHF 120 per passenger depending on flight distance and class.

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Facebook’s Libra has failed, says Switzerland’s president

Facebook’s plan to launch its digital currency Libra is unlikely to succeed Ueli Maurer, Switzerland’s president, told SRF. Maurer doesn’t think central banks will accept the basket of currencies underpinning the cryptocurrency. “The project, in this form, has thus failed” he said.

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Swiss government makes it easier to get paid for work done on the train

From 1 January 2020, it will be much easier for Switzerland’s 38,000 federal government employees to get paid for working on the train, according to the newspaper Tages-Anzeiger. Until the beginning of this year, working on the train on the way to and from work was only rewarded in exceptional instances and even then it was only partially counted.

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