Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
A 'federal check' for Swiss households, and helping wipe out private debts: find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.
MPs call for measures to compensate decline in purchasing power
Social Democratic party wants Switzerland to adopt the same concept as is already used in France and Germany: to send all middle-class and low-income households a "federal check" —a fixed monthly sum of 260 francs per adult and 130 francs per child. The wealthiest households would be excluded from the scheme.
MP Samuel Bendahan pointed out that the current and expected hike in the cost of living due to the war and inflation is impacting many people, but “the country has the means to get through" this downturn.
Other deputies want the relief to come — at least temporarily — in the form of lower taxes, including the reduction in Value Added Tax, which currently stands at 7.7 percent – the lowest in Europe.
However, MP Fabio Regazzi is urging caution before either of the scenarios is enacted, as each project would cost the government 2 billion francs.
"The problem is there, but it should not be overestimated, as the [Swiss] inflation rate is still reasonable compared to other States", he said.
Swiss authorities to help people “live without debt"
MPs submitted to the Federal Council a draft amendment to the law on debt collection and bankruptcy. Its goal is to allow “over-indebted persons to benefit from a second chance to live without debt”.
According to the Federal Council, "individuals who are unable to repay their debts on their own have little prospect of ever being able to live without debt again and have more than the subsistence minimum provided for by the law".
This harms not only the people concerned, but also society as a whole, “due to the contribution of social services and the health system, or missing tax revenues”, the government added.
Among other measures, the draft provides for a partial discharge of debts if the majority of creditors approve the process and a court deems it appropriate”.
Coop and Lidl increase the price of paper bags at checkout
Due to higher costs of many raw materials, including those used in the manufacture of paper, two supermarket chains are now charging more for shopping bags.
Coop, which has charged 30 cents per bag for many years, will now sell them at 40 cents a piece. At Lidl, they are now 30 cents, up from 25.
At Aldi and Migros, no price changes are planned for the moment — customers still pay 30 cents per bag.
However, both retailers said that they are monitoring “the tense situation in the commodities market”, not ruling out price increases for bags in the near future.
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