Tag Archive: Editor’s Choice

Big debts at 18 because parents didn’t pay Swiss health insurance bills

A recent article in the newspaper 20 Minutes highlights the nasty surprise some young people experience when their parents fail to pay their health insurance premiums. Turning 18 is one of life’s key milestones. It corresponds with the end of school and entry into a new world. In Switzerland it is also a health insurance milestone.

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Some Swiss cantons overwhelmed with confessions of tax evasion

Ahead of the automatic exchange of bank account information, which comes into effect at the beginning of next year, Swiss residents with undeclared foreign bank accounts are rushing to come clean to the tax authorities, according to Swiss broadcaster RTS.

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Poor not being pushed out of Swiss cities

It is widely believed that as the price of real estate climbs those on low incomes are forced out of city centres. A study by the University of Geneva, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office focused on the period between 2010 and 2014, shows this is not true in Switzerland.

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Swiss employees the best paid in Europe, according to study

According to a recent study, employees in certain roles in Switzerland are paid around 50% more than those second-placed Luxembourg. The premium applies to recent hires, middle managers and qualified professionals, says the study conducted by Willis Tower Watson.

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Swiss have never moved as much as they did in 2015

In Switzerland, more than a million people moved house in 2015, 12.1% of the population. The figure has never be higher, according to a report called Immo-Monitoring published by Wüest Partner. The home moving covered around 490,000 dwellings. Of those who moved, 344,000 stayed in the same commune (Gemeinde) while the other 659,000 changed municipality.

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New 50 Swiss franc note wins international beauty contest

The new 50 franc note, launched last year, was voted the best new bank note in 2016 by the International Bank Note Society, a society founded in 1961. Nearly 120 new banknotes were released worldwide in 2016. The Swiss 50 only narrowly beat the Maldive Islands 1000 Rufiyaa bill, Argentina’s 500 Peso jaguar, and the Royal Bank of Scotland’s 5 Pound first polymer note.

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Fall in Swiss property prices accelerates

Over the year ending 31 March 2017, apartment prices across Switzerland dropped by 6.8%, according to a property price report published by the Zurich-based research and consulting firm Fahrländer Partner FPRE.

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The Swiss municipalities with too many second homes – latest figures

On 11 March 2012, Swiss voted to accept a law restricting the construction of secondary residences, homes that are only used occasionally by owners living somewhere else. Under the law no more than 20% of a municipality’s housing can be second homes. Those with percentages above 20% run into building restrictions.

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Some UN consultants thought their income was tax free. They were wrong.

Some United Nations consultants haven’t paid taxes on their income, thinking it was exempt. When the tax authorities catch up with them they’ll risk paying back taxes and fines. As a general rule, foreign UN functionaries are not required to pay local taxes on their income. On the other hand UN consultants must.

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A fifth of Swiss can’t cope with an unexpected expense of 2,500 francs

In 2015, 21.7% of Switzerland’s population was unable to cover an unexpected expense of CHF 2,500 within a month, says a report from the Swiss Federal Statistics Office. Single parent families were the least able to cope with 46.1% of them falling into this camp. Single parent families were followed by single people under 65 (27.1%) and two-parent families (24.0%).

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Swiss rents 40 percent too high, according to bank’s calculation

According to the bank Raiffeisen, if rents had followed the path prescribed in the Swiss Code of Obligations, they would be much lower. Their figures show that changes in interest rates have not flowed through to renters. If rents had fallen in step with mortgage interest rates they would be 40% lower than they are currently.

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Proposal to remove Swiss home-owner tax rejected

In Switzerland, those who own the home they live in must add imputed rent to their income when calculating their income tax. This means owner-occupiers are taxed for living in their own homes, an odd concept for some who are new to Switzerland.

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Bank drops plan to loosen Swiss mortgage restrictions

The bank Raiffeisen has dropped its attempt to reduce minimum deposit requirements for home loans, according to RTS. Last autumn, it unveiled plans to reduce loan deposit requirements. However, last week, the bank announced that FINMA, Switzerland’s financial regulator, was opposed to the idea.

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Swiss drug prices more than double european average – “Mr Price” takes aim

Switzerland’s public price watchdog chief, Stefan Meierhans, also know as “Mr Price”, has taken aim at high Swiss drug prices. A report published last week shows prices of generic drugs are nearly 2.4 times more expensive in Switzerland compared to the average price across 15 european countries.

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A recent purchase shows how hard it is to trust product packaging

Volkswagen shocked the world when it was revealed it was cheating on emissions tests on a grand scale. Now some television makers may be gaming the energy efficiency ratings of some of their televisions, according to the Economist.

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More than 3,000 state beneficiaries in Geneva admit not declaring assets or other income

Last October, Geneva state councillor Mauro Poggia, had his department send out close to 91,000 letters to those receiving social benefits, asking them to contact the authorities if they had failed to declare any assets or income. Laurent Paoliello, a spokesperson from the DEAS, said they received 3,200 letters back. So far, we haven’t been through all the letters, he said.

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Those over 25 may pay more for Swiss health insurance

The Swiss States Council commission on public health endorsed a plan that could lead to higher health insurance premiums for those over 25. Swiss health insurance providers are required to pay into a communal pot to spread risk between insurance companies.

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Swiss mortgage rates climb in 4th quarter

After reaching a historical low in the third quarter of 2016, rates started rising in the fourth quarter. Rate increases hit mortgage tenors of five and ten years. Compared to Q3, fixed mortgage rates on loans of ten years went up an average 0.2% to 1.62% according to price comparison website Comparis.ch.

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European and Swiss stocks higher on bank rally

The Swiss Market Index, along with other European markets, is trading slightly higher this week after financials rallied on merger and acquisition rumors and hopes for improved growth. European banks, the industry group battered the most so far this year, lead gains after it emerged that Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG executives held talks about a potential merger in early August this year.

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Swiss banks cut 4.1 percent of local jobs in first half as profit falls

Banks in Switzerland reduced their domestic workforce by 4.1 percent in the first half as companies combined and made cost cuts to stem declining profitability, a survey by the nation’s main bank association showed.

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