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Village faces tax hikes over family's social costs

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Village faces tax hikes over family's social costs
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
09:27 CEST+02:00
A village in the canton of Zurich faces having to raise taxes next year because of social costs amounting to 60,000 francs a month to support a family of refugees, Blick newspaper reported online on Monday.

A mother from Eritrea and her seven children moved to the village of 1,085 people three years ago after receiving a B permit, which allows her to stay for five years with the possibility of extension, the newspaper said.

The municipality immediately began paying monthly rent of 1,500 francs, plus 2,600 francs a month to cover family costs.

But the mother was quickly overwhelmed and now four of her offspring are in a children’s home at the village’s expense, Blick said.

In addition, social workers help the mother shop, cook and clean and take the other children on outings, working six hours a day, seven days a week.

The total bill amounts to 30 percent of the village’s expenses.

The municipality is looking at raising taxes by five percent to cover the costs.

“I do not know where to turn,” village mayor Therese Schlaepfer told Blick.

“We probably have no other choice but to raise taxes.”

The mayor, a member of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, blamed federal and cantonal policies for putting the burden on the village.

It is “disturbing that these families have no obligations, only rights,” Shlaepfer is quoted as telling Blick.  

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