Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
Taxes will become more equitable in Switzerland. Photo by Depositphotos
Find out what's going on in Switzerland today with The Local's short round-up of the news.

The “Fair Taxes” initiative is launched

The popular initiative  “for an independent individual taxation of civil status” helps promote equality between men and women, because it offers economic incentives by not penalising second incomes, such as those of working mothers.

Today, individual taxation in Switzerland only applies to single people and unmarried couples. In contrast, married and same-sex couples living in registered partnerships are taxed jointly.

Their income is therefore added up.

This results in a higher tax rate, meaning that couples taxed collectively pay more tax for the same income than couples or single people taxed individually.

READ MORE: What freelancers in Switzerland need to know about paying tax

Official ‘Long Covid’ strategy demanded

Up to 300,000 people in Switzerland could be affected by Long Covid, a condition where coronavirus symptoms persist for months and range from mild to incapacitating.

Around a quarter of all people infected with Covid-19 have not fully recovered even after six months, according to a study by the University of Zurich.

An estimated 7,500 new cases could be added every month, the study found.

Sufferers formed an organisation called Long Covid Alliance and are demanding a government strategy on how to deal with these long-term consequence and more research into specific forms of therapy.

Council of States voted in favour of this proposal and the Federal Council will now follow up on this issue.

Patients will have easier access to cannabis medicines

Those who are dependent on cannabis drugs will be able to obtain them more easily from their doctors, the parliament decided.

Currently physicians must obtain permission from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) before prescribing these medications.

However, all such treatments will have to be reported to FOPH, which will monitor the process and collect relevant data.

Authorisation agency Swissmedic will regulate the cultivation, manufacture, processing and trading of medicinal cannabis.

Covid-related debt on the rise

An analysis of the effects of the Covid pandemic by the Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich found that 11 percent of households with an income of less than 4,000 francs per month and 6 percent of households with an income of between 4,000 6,000 had to go into debt in order to cover their expenses.

Mostly people who have become unemployed (25 percent), are self-employed (13 percent) or have reduced work hours (11 percent), have borrowed money during the pandemic, researchers found.

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