Category Archive: 3.) Personal Finance

Number on welfare in Switzerland falls for first time in 10 years

In 2018, the number of people receiving social welfare in Switzerland fell from 278,300, or 3.3% of the population, to 272,700, 3.2% of the population. The last time the number fell was in 2008 when it dropped from 3.1% (233,500) to 2.9% (222,600) of the population.

Read More »

Switzerland’s high prices – a European comparison

Recently published data shows how prices compare across Europe. The data, collected by Eurostat, compares prices across a number of categories of spending in 2018. Average prices across the EU-28 are used as a base.

Read More »

Swiss visit doctor less often than most of Europe

In 2017, an average Swiss resident visited a medical professional 4.32 times, according to data recently published by Eurostat. Only residents of Denmark (4.30), Sweden (2.77) and Cyprus (2.09) went to see a doctor less often. The average number of visits across those European countries with 2017 data was 6.84.

Read More »

Another month of falling prices in Switzerland

Swiss prices fell by 0.1% in November 2019, the sixth time in 12 months. But not everything is cheaper. Prices fell in December 2018 (-0.3%), January 2019 (-0.3), July (-0.5), September (-0.1), October (-0.2%) and November 2019 (-0.1). When combined with the low inflation experienced in the other 6 months the 12-month price drop is -0.1%.

Read More »

Some Swiss import duties could be axed

Swiss import duties on a number of industrial products might disappear if a plan put forward by Guy Parmelin, Switzerland’s economic’s minister, is approved by the National Council, Switzerland’s parliament. The changes are expected to benefit businesses and consumers by around CHF 860 million a year. On the other hand, the government will miss out on collecting roughly CHF 500 million a year of revenue from import duties.

Read More »

Switzerland’s skilled worker shortage worsens

At 30 September 2019, Switzerland had 79,000 job vacancies and 225,000 unemployed workers. This combination of unemployment and job vacancies can largely be explained by two things. The first is frictional unemployment, the period spent in between jobs. This typically increases when there is a lot of job changing. The second is a skills mismatch. Employers cannot find the skills they need among those seeking work.

Read More »

1 in 10 Swiss hospitals facing financial difficulty

Around one hospital in ten in Switzerland could end up in financial difficultly, according to a report by PWC. In addition, 37 of the 44 hospitals surveyed will not be profitable enough to remain competitive over the next five to ten years, predict the authors of the report.

Read More »

Number of jobs reaches all-time high in Switzerland

Unemployment rose in the third quarter of 2019, however, there have never been more jobs in Switzerland. The total number of jobs in Switzerland rose to 5.137 million at 30 September 2019, a level never seen before. The figure was 1.3% higher than at 30 September 2018 and 0.3% higher than 30 June 2019.

Read More »

Federal Council paves way for VAT refund on Billag fee

At its meeting on 27 November 2019, the Federal Council set out its plan for the refund of value-added tax (VAT) on Switzerland’s radio and television licence, formerly known as Billag. Between 2010 and 2015, VAT was charged on Swiss television and radio licences.

Read More »

French-speaking cantons biggest winners from next year’s fiscal transfers

The amount of money paid by “rich” cantons to “poor” ones will rise by CHF 61 million to CHF 5.3 billion in 2020, according to a recent government press release. The only French-speaking canton paying will be Geneva. All of the rest will see the sums they receive rise compared to 2019. In 2020, Geneva will pay CHF 275 million, down slightly from the CHF 300 million it paid in 2019.

Read More »

Swiss government cuts drug prices by 100 million francs

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) recently announced it had reduced the price Swiss healthcare providers and patients will pay for 257 drugs by 16.3%. These lower prices, which take affect on 1 December 2019, are expected to save CHF 100 million annually.

Read More »

Swiss remain the richest in 2019

According to a recent report by the bank Credit Suisse, the Swiss are worth more on average than the residents of any other nation. The bank’s annual Global Wealth Report calculates average net worth per Swiss adult to be US$ 564,653 (CHF 560,643) at mid-2019. The median figure was US$ 227,891 (CHF 226,273).

Read More »

Raising Switzerland’s retirement age – big differences of opinion

Switzerland’s government has long discussed the importance of raising the retirement age to ensure the financial viability of the pension system. However, it is not clear whether voters would support such a plan. According to a survey by Deloitte, an accounting and consulting company, raising the official retirement age might not find majority support among Swiss voters. Some groups are firmly against the idea.

Read More »

Referendum to ban tobacco advertising in Switzerland reaches 100,000 signatures

An initiative demanding a ban on tobacco advertising has collected 109,969 valid signatures, more than the 100,000 minimum required to launch a popular vote, according to RTS. The planned vote entitled: “Yes to the protection of children and young people against tobacco advertising” demands the federal government ban all forms of tobacco advertising towards children and young people.

Read More »

Swiss upper house calls on executive to end marriage tax penalty

In Switzerland, some married couples pay more tax than unmarried ones, something referred to as the marriage tax penalty. The issue has been doing the rounds of the halls of Switzerland’s government for around 30 years. On 28 February 2016, a vote to change the current system was narrowly rejected by 50.8% of voters.

Read More »

Vaud’s 2020 budget – higher spending, higher taxes

The Swiss canton of Vaud has managed to balance its 2020 budget with a small surplus of 76,000 francs. This is the 14th time in row that the canton’s budget has been in the black. At the same time planned spending is up by 2.43%, well ahead of Swiss inflation – prices were lower in September 2019 than they were in September 2018.

Read More »

Number of people with debt problems rises in Switzerland

The number of people with debts in default continues to rise in Switzerland. At the end of July 2019, 561,000 people, 6.5% of the population, were unable to service their debts according to the price comparison website comparis.ch. The figures, based on data from the credit analysis company CRIF include those who have failed to make repayments and are being pursued by creditors or have declared bankruptcy.

Read More »

No rise is health premiums expected in 10 Swiss cantons in 2020

Every year, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) gives projections of compulsory health insurance premiums for the coming year. After years of rising premiums, many will be relieved by the small projected increases for 2020. Across all of Switzerland, the average premium is expected to rise 0.2% to CHF 315.40 a month.

Read More »

Geneva’s 2020 budget 590 million francs short

Next year the canton of Geneva plans to spend CHF 9,143 million. However, forecast revenue is only CHF 8,553 million, leaving a shortfall of CHF 590 million, according to a cantonal government press release. The canton’s finances have been hit hard from both sides.

Read More »

Swiss upper house rejects parental leave plan

Switzerland’s government been grappling with the politics of extending universal tax-funded parental leave for a number of years. Some are pushing for paternity leave for fathers and others for a shared pool of parental leave, which mums and dads can apportion.

Read More »