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COST OF LIVING

How the cost of living will change in Switzerland in 2022

2022 is here. Here's what's set to get cheaper and more expensive this year.

Swiss franc coins in a pile
Not everything in Switzerland will get more expensive in 2022. Photo: Pixabay

The following changes will impact the cost of living in Switzerland, whether for better or for worse. 

For an assessment of different types of changes taking place in the new year, check out our following guides. 

Everything that changes in Switzerland in 2022

Everything that changes in Switzerland in January 2022

Swiss inheritance law: What will change in 2022

Our daily bread (and cakes and pastries etc etc) to get pricier

A hike in grain prices will see baked goods become more expensive in Switzerland in 2022. 

Baked goods will rise by around 15 percent on average, with bakeries, bakery chains and larger supermarkets all expected to raise prices. 

Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes put together a summary of how things will look in 2022. 

Croissants will cost CHF1.70 on average, while cream slices (Cremeschnitte) will cost CHF4.80. 

The Swiss Association of Bakers and Confectioners (SBC) told Switzerland’s Sonntagzeitung newspaper that it had issued a recommendation to raise prices between five and 15 percent. 

Furniture

An increase in wood prices will see furniture costs climb in 2022, while delays are also forecast – particularly for people who order custom furniture. 

One consequence of the Covid pandemic has been an increase in renovations and home carpentry, which has led to a shortage of timber. 

Swedish furniture chain Ikea said it expected increases in the cost of many different furniture items, although it was difficult to say how much prices would increase by in Switzerland or elsewhere as a consequence. 

Inflation

In October 2021, Switzerland’s inflation rate rose by 0.3 percent to 1.2 percent, notes the Federal Statistical Office. This is the highest figure since August 2018 and the equal highest monthly increase at any time over the past decade.

Inflation in 2022 is expected to average 1.1 percent across the whole year. While this is high by Swiss standards, it is much lower than most other countries. 

How to protect your savings against inflation in Switzerland

First class at second class prices

Switzerland’s SBB has announced a range of new first class upgrades at a fraction of the normal cost. Some first class upgrades are actually cheaper than a point-to-point ticket. 

“The primary goal is to make better use of trains that are under-utilised,” said Thomas Ammann, spokesman for the public transport industry organisation Alliance Swisspass.

As the promotion is designed to prevent trains from being under-utilised, it tends to work on a spontaneous basis – i.e. you may not be able to upgrade your travel for the next year. 

The ‘spur of the moment’ promotion “allows you to travel in 1st class on one route or for one day” the SBB said. 

More information is available at the following link. 

Train travel: How you can save on first class upgrades in Switzerland

No discrimination by online stores abroad

Good news for people who like to purchase goods on the Internet: from January 1st, Swiss customers will no longer be denied access to foreign online shopping platforms.

Currently, anyone in Switzerland who tries to access the “.de” or “.fr” version of a merchant site, is automatically redirected to a Swiss sales portal where the merchandise is more expensive. But from January 1st, the law will ban geo-blocking on the internet in this area, a rule in force in the EU since 2018.

No more subsidies for gluten free kids

From January 2022, Switzerland will remove a subsidy payment made to children who cannot eat gluten.

The payments are made to families with children who have celiac disease, which means they cannot consume foods with gluten such as pasta and bread.

The government has come under fire for the removal, with critics saying it places undue pressure on poorer families with children.

READ MORE: Switzerland under fire for cutting payments for gluten free children

Postage costs

Sending letters will get a tad more expensive in Switzerland as of 2022, with Swiss Post increasing prices by up to ten cents per letter. The last time prices were increased was in 2004, 18 years ago.

Prices for sending A-Mail letters will increase by ten cents per letter, while B-Mail will go up by five cents.

Prices for sending packages will remain the same, Swiss Post has promised.

Swiss Post say the increases are necessary due to the decline in the amount of post being sent in Switzerland, which is roughly half of that being sent when prices were last increased just under 20 years ago.

READ MORE: Swiss Post to increase mail prices for first time in 18 years

Postboxes to cost 120 CHF

Swiss Post are also increasing the cost of Post Office boxes

Anyone who wants a PO box will now need to pay 120CHF per year. 

This is a significant increase as the boxes are currently free. 

Electricity prices

The cost of electricity will increase slightly for households in 2022, according the Federal Electricity Commission ElCom.

A typical household will pay 21.2 cents per kilowatt hour (ct./kWh) next year, which corresponds to an increase of 0.7 ct / kWh, or 3 percent.

The new cost consists of the tariffs for the use of the network, the tariffs for energy, the charges payable to public authorities, and the surcharge levied on the grid.

READ MORE: How can you save on your household energy bills in Switzerland?

Fuel prices: More expensive petrol

Despite Switzerland’s rejection of a referendum to curb CO2 emissions, petrol prices still look set to climb in 2022. 

Currently, everyone who fills their tank pays 1.5 cents per litre for climate protection initiatives. This is set to increase to five cents per litre at the end of 2021 due to the expiration of a subsidy for motorists. 

As at late December, this looks set to come into effect at the start of 2022. While the right-wing Swiss people’s party have indicated an opposition to the measure, it has won more widespread favour among the Swiss government. 

Unless a change is passed soon, Swiss residents can expect to pay a little more at the pump in 2022

READ MORE: Where in Switzerland can you find the cheapest fuel?

Basel to put in place minimum wage

In June 2021, Basel City voted via referendum to put in place a minimum wage. While unions wanted a standard of CHF23 – which would equal Geneva’s standard as the highest in the world – voters accepted a government counter proposal of CHF21. 

The standard is expected to be implemented in early 2022, although an exact date is as yet unclear. 

Five Swiss cantons now have a minimum standard, although Basel City is the first German speaking canton to have such a rule in place. 

Reader question: Which Swiss canton has the highest minimum wage?

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN SWITZERLAND

Everything that changes in Switzerland in July 2022

Same-sex marriage, new rules for cars, and music festivals: this is what's in store for Switzerland in July.

Everything that changes in Switzerland in July 2022

Same-sex couples can marry at last

After Switzerland voted to legalise same-sex marriage in a nationwide referendum on September 26th, 2021, the new law will enter into force on July 1st.

Gay couples will also be able to convert their registered partnership — which did not provide the same rights as marriage, including for obtaining citizenship and the joint adoption of children — will suffice to convert a current partnership.

READ MORE: Same-sex couples can marry from July 1st in Switzerland

Sessions with psychologists will be reimbursed by health insurance

Until now, Swiss basic insurance (KVG / LaMal) only covered mental health and treatment provided by psychiatrists.

But starting on July 1st, the cost of counselling offered by licensed psychologists will also be refunded, after agreement on hourly rates was reached between the association of psychologists and groups which determine medical rates.

READ MORE:  What isn’t covered by Switzerland’s compulsory health insurance?

New rules for electronic voting: pilot tests

Cantons will again be able to carry out electronic voting trials from July 1st.

The Federal Council has set July 1st as the entry into force of the new rules.

Electronic voting has been in the trial phase since 2004. Fifteen cantons have already created the necessary legal bases and conducted more than 300 successful tests.

Electronic voting will  only be accessible to part of the population — 30 percent of the cantonal electorate and 10 percent of the Swiss electorate as a whole.

Installing solar panels will become easier

Some solar installations on facades, dams or noise barriers can more easily be built from July 1st, as the Federal Council removed prior administrative obstacles to these actions.. The granting of authorisations for these structures may be accelerated and the conditions relaxed.

It will therefore be easier to set up such installations on a dam lake in an alpine environment or on a less sensitive part of the territory. There will no longer be a need for authorisation to install solar panels on roofs.

Swiss vehicles to be equipped with black boxes

Black boxes will be mandatory for new types of passenger cars and vans from July 1st, after the entry into force of a UN regulation.

The new regulation aims to allow significant progress in gathering data on road accidents and vehicle safety, according to the UN Economic Commission for Europe.

Thanks to the new device, investigators will be able to reconstruct an accident from five seconds before and until the vehicle is immobilised.

Summer holidays begin

Depending on the canton, almost all schoolchildren in Switzerland will start their summer break between July 4th and 11th. You can find out the date in each canton here.

However, getting to and from your holiday destination by air may not be all that relaxing: airports in Switzerland and throughout Europe are expecting huge crowds and chaos as travel is picking up after two years of Covid restrictions.

There will also be delays and disruptions due to some previously scheduled flights being cancelled.

Which flights have SWISS airlines cut ahead of summer season?

Passengers are advised to contact their airline to find out if their flight is affected.

READ MORE: ‘‘Arrive early’: Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

Switzerland’s famous jazz and rock festivals

July is the month when two world-famous music festivals take place annually in Switzerland.

The first, Montreux Jazz, begins on July 1st and goes through July 16th in Montreux, an old town located in Vaud on the shores of Lake Geneva, where Freddy Mercury, frontman of Queen once lived and worked.

This year’s line-up includes stars like Diana Ross, Herbie Hancock, and John Legend, among others.

The second music event, the Paléo Festival in Nyon, also in canton Vaud, will take place (after missing 2020 and 2021due to Covid) from July 19th to 24th, and feature world-class perfprmers like Sting, KISS, and dozen others.

Tickets to both events are usually snapped up as soon as the go on sale, but they may still be some for sale. You can check the availability here for Montreux and Paléo.

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