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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. © Elenaphotos | Dreamstime.comThe canton’s finances have been hit hard from both sides. Costs will rise significantly, mainly due to the bailout of the state employee pension fund (+213 million) and higher health insurance subsidies (+176 million). In addition, the canton’s...

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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. © Tetiana Chernykova | Dreamstime.comSome are pushing for paternity leave for fathers and others for a shared pool of parental leave, which mums and dads can apportion. There is also a popular vote working its way through the system which aims to create four weeks of paid leave specifically for fathers. Recently, Philipp Müller put forward a motion for...

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Switzerland faces looming shortage of workers

As more baby-boomers – born from 1946 to 1964 – retire, Switzerland will faces a shortage of workers, according to Credit Suisse, a bank. © Georgerudy | Dreamstime.comEconomists at the bank estimate that 1.1 million people in Switzerland will retire over the next 10 years, a figure which includes nearly 800,000 people currently working. By 2021, there will be more people leaving the job market than joining it. The current peak in Switzerland’s age pyramid is 55 years old, the age of...

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Vevey’s Fête des vignerons set to make large loss

With the celebration over, attention has shifted to the cost of the Fête des vignerons, Vevey’s once-in-25-year winegrowers festival. Vevey’s Fête des vignerons set to make a large lossAs the bills come in it looks like the festival will make a loss of CHF 16 million, according to the François Margot, who was interviewed by the newspaper 24 heures. Fête des Vignerons: “Le manque à gagner sur les spectacles de jour est de 16 millions.”https://t.co/ww5AqMcl7E— 24heures (@24heuresch)...

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Tobacco consumption costs Switzerland 5 billion francs a year

Health care in Switzerland is funded by a mixture of taxes and health insurance premiums. Much of the insurance premiums paid are compulsory with no discounts offered to non-smokers. © Mcwilli1 | Dreamstime.comAccording to figures recently published by the Swiss association for smoking, the annual direct medical costs of smoking are CHF 3 billion (2015), or CHF 350 per person. This sum represents 3.9% of Switzerland’s total annual health spending. Tobacco use is the main risk factor...

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The remarkable rise of Switzerland’s GDP per capita

In 1998, GDP per person in Switzerland was CHF 59,693. Recently published statistics put the figure at CHF 80,986 in 2018, a rise of 36%.  © Mr.siwabud Veerapaisarn | Dreamstime.comWhen Swiss GDP per capita is expressed in globally comparable US dollar terms its rise is even greater. In US dollar terms Swiss GDP per capita grew from US$ 41,497 to US$ 82,839 between 1998 and 2018, a rise of 100%. In Germany the same figure went from US$ 27,341 to US$ 48,196, a rise of 76%, in France...

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Housing vacancies rise in 20 Swiss cantons

Recent figures show an annual 4.2% rise in the number of vacant homes in Switzerland, extending a trend that started 10 years ago, according to the Federal Statistical Office. © Ppvector | Dreamstime.comAt the start of June 2019, there were 75,323 vacant homes, representing 1.66% of Switzerland’s total stock of homes. However, high vacancy rates in some regions masked low ones in others. While cantons such as Solothurn (3.40%), Thurgau (2.65%), Jura (2.59%), Aargau (2.59%),...

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Banks move to cool investment property market in Switzerland

Swiss banks have agreed to tighten lending conditions for investment properties following concerns by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA), a self-regulatory body. © Alexandre Zveiger | Dreamstime.comThe SBA, which represents most of Switzerland’s banks, has issued new lending guidelines requiring lending deposits of at least 25% of the assessed value of the property for residential investment properties. In addition, minimum annual loan repayments must reduce loans by one third over the...

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Welfare fraudster gets nearly 4 years in prison

A man in Zurich has been sentenced to close to four years in prison after receiving more than half a million francs of welfare despite possessing numerous cars and large bank balances, according to Tages-Anzeiger and reported in 20 Minutes. © Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.comThe 51 year old man from Kosovo, who received CHF 527,000 of welfare money between 2003 and 2014, failed to declare eight bank accounts, one with a balance of around CHF 196,000. In addition, between 2003 and 2015, he’d...

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Suspected welfare cheats can be trailed from October

Agencies paying social welfare in Switzerland will be able to hire detectives to uncover fraud from 1 October 2019. © Tero Vesalainen | Dreamstime.comIn Switzerland, between 2009 and 2016, detectives were used on around 220 investigations a year. Two thirds of those trailed were found guilty of fraud. In 2016, the European court of human rights ruled that accident beneficiaries should not be tracked because there was no defined Swiss legal framework covering the practice. Then in 2017,...

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