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Economist calls for higher taxes on expats

Malcolm Curtis · 21 Jan 2013, 10:53

Published: 21 Jan 2013 10:53 GMT+01:00

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Reiner Eichenberger, head of the centre for public finance at the University of Fribourg, believes profits from the higher taxes could be distributed to the benefit of Swiss citizens.

Eichenberger made the controversial recommendations in an interview published online by Tages Anzeiger, the German-language newspaper, on Monday.

The economist said that immigration at the current level — a net increase of 80,000 people a year — “impinges on natural and policy-made boundaries”.

It added demands to transportation, energy consumption and housing prices, he said.

Eichenberger acknowledged that Swiss universities benefited from immigration.

“Our children need the best education possible, so the best professors, and these are often foreign,” he said.

But overall, he said the federal government was “whitewashing” the true impacts of immigration to play up their benefits.

He advocated abandoning bilateral agreements with the European Union and targetting immigrants to fill positions as needed.

“Some foreign workers we really needed, but of course not, as now, a net immigration of 80,000 people per year.”

Eichenberger’s comments follow a call for quotas on immigrants made last month by Rolf Dörig, the chairman of Swiss Life and staffing company Adecco.

Dörig, who is also an executive board member of economiesuisse, an umbrella group for Swiss business, the quotas are needed to ensure that Switzerland gets the workers “we really need”.

He told Norwestschweiz newspaper that an “unconditional multicultural attitude” threatened the country’s social stability.
He added that if restrictions to immigration were not made, Swiss citizens would end up limiting Switzerland’s openness to the world through referendum initiatives.

So far, among Switzerland’s national political parties, only the populist Swiss People’s Party is calling for more restrictions on the country’s immigration policy.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

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Your comments about this article

2013-01-21 13:01:48 by smeghead
Tax the bankers more, tax firms who outsource the jobs to other lands etc etc, but people who come to switzerland for work pay more tax then the swiss.
2013-01-22 07:07:21 by Antony
Dear Swiss people, Indians have a request for you. Your banks & govt are holding billions & trillions of USD, by CORRUPT Indians Govt & Biz, who rob the poor 500 million indians Wikileaks & Rudolf Elmer has given our over 2000 names, but there are over 25000 names. India is the most corrupt courntry & you can help un-shackle the poor 500+ Indians who live on less than half usd per day. Indian govts are s pack of thieves & indulge in Scams after Scams. & then siphone money to swiss & other banks. Please req. your govt to release names & illegal funds back to our poor. Below some scams in india.

LOOTED INDIAN MONEY in Swiss banks, other tax havens & invested abroad: about $100-150 trillion. IGI Airport scam = $32 billion(FC) Coal Mining Scam = $213 billion(FC) Karnataka Wakf Board Land Scam = $39 billion(FC) Andhra Pradesh land scam = $20 billion(FC) Service Tax and Central Excise Duty fraud = $3.82 billion(FC) Gujarat PSU financial irregularities = $3.39 billion(FC) Maharashtra stamp duty scam = $126 million(FC) Highway scam = $13.97 million(FC) Ministry of External Affairs gift scam = $100,000(FC) Himachal Pradesh pulse scam = $200,000/month(FC) Flying Club fraud = $38 million(FC) Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association scam = $10 million (MC) Punjab paddy scam = $3.59 million(FC) Arvind Joshi and Tinu Joshi = $50 million(FC) Uttar Pradesh seed scam = $9.98 million(FC) (2011 - 1948) Obsolete French Fighter Jets = $11 billion(FC) NHRM = $2 billion(BC) Goa mining scam = $700 million(FC) Noida Corporation farm land scandal = $40 million(SC) Bellary mines scandal = $3.2 billion(FC) BL Kashyap EPFO Scam = $118 million(FC) Hasan Ali Khan = $8 billion(MC) ISRO-Devas = $300 million(FC) Cash-for-votes = $715,000(FC) 2G spectrum scam/Radia Tapes = $6.9 billion(BC) Adarsh Housing Society(FC) Commonwealth Games = $15.5 billion(FC) LIC Housing Loan scam = $200 million
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