Tag Archive: Personal finance

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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Coronavirus: national lockdown not part of Switzerland’s second wave response plan

Switzerland’s federal government is against imposing nationwide restrictions to slow the spread of a second wave on infections, according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper. The federal government plan, which is under development, is more regional than the response to the first wave of infections and focuses decision making power at the cantonal level, reported the newspaper.

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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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Swiss National Bank to distribute 4 billion francs of profit

In 2019, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) made a profit of around CHF 49 billion. These profits came mainly from the rising value of the assets on the bank’s balance sheet. In 2019, the value of its holdings of foreign currency and gold rose substantially. When combined with interest, dividend income and gains on shares total profits for the year were CHF 49 billion.

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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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Swiss National Bank expects annual profit of 49 billion francs

According to provisional calculations, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) expects to make a profit of around CHF 49 billion in 2019. Most of this comes from the rising value of the SNB’s foreign currency positions (+CHF 40 billion) and a valuation gain on gold holdings (+CHF 6.9 billion).

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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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Unemployment in Geneva higher than neighbouring France

In December last year, the Observatoire statistique transfrontalier published unemployment figures for the French region surrounding Geneva. French unemployment calculations follow the method used by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which include all job seekers, according to Tribune de Genève.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Money for nothing – Swiss government gets paid to borrow

Imagine borrowing CHF 105,500 but only having to repay CHF 100,000 in 20 years time, including interest. You’d get an interest free loan plus an extra CHF 5,500 to keep. This is what the Swiss federal government will do on 20 December 2019, except it will borrow CHF 196.6 million by issuing zero interest bonds at a price of 105.5%. The government will generate a CHF 10.25 million windfall.

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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%.

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