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Health care cost brake initiative to go to a vote

This week, a government proposal presented as an alternative to a referendum aimed at limiting healthcare costs was rejected by initiative organisers. This means the question will be put to voters. © Alexey Novikov | Dreamstime.comThe initiative, which is supported by the Centre Party, would require actors in the healthcare system to agree on cost-cutting measures if healthcare costs grow significantly faster than wages and the economy – cost growth more than 20% higher than the nominal...

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The Swiss canton with the highest crime rate

Data published this week reveal Switzerland’s cantonal crime hotspot, a phenomenon connected to geography. Basel Police © Neydtstock | Dreamstime.comIn 2023, after a sharp rise, the canton of Basel-City recorded the largest number of violent crimes and the highest per capita rates of theft and burglary. The rate of violent crime reached 13.2 per 1,000 residents in the city in 2023. The number of property crimes, which includes theft and burglary rose to 21,329 in 2023, a figure 18%...

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One in ten Swiss worried about money at the end of the month

A study published this week by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) shows nearly 1 in 10 (9.9%) people in Switzerland has trouble making their money last until the end of the month. And, 4.9% had to go without goods, services or social activities due to a lack of money. The study is a European comparison of life satisfaction and draws on data from 2022. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.comDespite the financial challenges faced by some, Switzerland had the highest average life...

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No price rises for Swiss public transport in 2025

Alliance Swisspass, an organisation that stitches together Switzerland’s various public transport providers to create tickets and passes that work across the network, announced this week that there would be no ticket price increases in 2025, reported SRF. © Woj231 | Dreamstime.comA recent rise in the number of people using the network is bringing in more revenue. This is helping to reduce the need to raise prices, said the organisation. In addition, Alliance Swisspass said that the sector...

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Higher Swiss pensions to be funded with higher tax

On 3 March 2024, a majority of Swiss voters accepted a plan to increase the state pension by 1/12th (8.3%) – an extra 13th month of pension will be paid from 2026. Organisers of the vote claimed pension finances were in good shape, implying there was money to fund it. However, there wasn’t. This week the Federal Council presented a plan to raise taxes to pay for the increase, reported RTS. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.comSwiss state pension funding currently looks fine. There are...

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Some relief on Swiss electricity bills in pipeline

When we pay electricity bills we also have to pay for the infrastructure that brings it to our homes. Part of this infrastructure is run by Swissgrid. On 20 March 2024, Swissgrid announced a cut in what it charges from 2025. Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.comIn 2025, a household with an annual consumption of 4,500 kWh will pay an average of CHF 77 (-16%) for the services provided by Swissgrid instead of the CHF 92 it will pay in 2024. These charges corresponds to 5% of the total bill. So a...

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Recent Swiss fire deaths prompt calls for fire detectors

Across much of Europe, smoke detectors are a legal requirement. In Switzerland, they are not. The recent death of two people in a fire in Pfaffnau in the canton of Luzern has prompted calls to change the rules, reported SRF. © Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.comOn 19 March 2024, shortly after midnight, rescue workers were called to a burning apartment in Pfaffnau. Seven people were evacuated, three of whom were sent to hospital because of likely smoke inhalation. Two missing people were...

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Swiss National Bank surprises with interest rate cut

On 21 March 2024, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) lowered its key interest rate from 1.75% to 1.5%. © J0hnb0y | Dreamstime.comThe move makes the SNB the first significant central bank to lower rates as inflation slows. The cut surprised many analysts and economists. The consensus expectation was for no change in the rate. Many other central banks have left rates unchanged. On 20 March 2024, the US Fed decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.5%. And...

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10-step guide to hiring an employee in Switzerland

Brought to you by quitt.business.   For startups and small companies, hiring and onboarding new employees can be a real hassle. In Switzerland especially, there is a significant amount of admin to deal with. The following is a guide to all the tasks involved in this process. © Sasa Mihajlovic | Dreamstime.comA summarised list of the administrative tasks associated with hiring a new employee are set out below: Create an employment contract Register for social security taxes with...

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Over half of Swiss families struggling to make ends meet

A survey published this week by the organisation Pro Familia shows that 52% of families across Switzerland are struggling to make ends meet. Photo by Vika Glitter on Pexels.comFor many families in Switzerland, money is tight or insufficient to cover all living expenses. The percentage finding themselves in this position rose from 47% to 52%. The rising cost of health insurance was the biggest challenge cited by most of those surveyed. Regarding saving, 30% said they were unable to save...

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