Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
No federal help for hard-hit households, Geneva offers financial assistance to its residents, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Monday.
Federal government won’t be helping households weather higher cost of living
Last week, the Federal Council has turned down a number of proposals to offer financial help to people struggling with increasing costs, a document prepared by the Economy Ministry and obtained by the Swiss media reveals.
All of the proposals, primarily aimed at low-income households, have been rejected, the media reported.
Among them were different forms of energy ‘allowances’ to offset the cost of electricity, as well as money to help reduce health insurance premiums.
Another possibility that has been examined — that of offering tax reductions to certain households — has also been turned down, as the legal basis needed to implement this measure cannot be created before 2024.
It is now up to individual cantons to offer financial assistance to its residents…(read below)
Geneva announces steps to help residents ‘protect’ purchasing power
The Council of State has decided last week to increase the amount of subsidies and housing allowances to protect the purchasing power of households. It also provides for an increase in family allowances and the maintenance package for recipients of social assistance.
“Inflation observed in recent months is causing a drop in disposable income for a large number of households, particularly in the middle class. The Council of State wants the people concerned to benefit from support to protect their purchasing power”, authorities said.
In this regard, the canton will offer higher healthcare premium subsidies, housing and family allowances, as well as welfare payments.
Switzerland and France: Friends again
For more than a year, France was reported to snub Switzerland on the diplomatic arena because the latter purchased F-35 fighter jets from the United States, rather than France’s Rafale aircraft.
"This created some tension. There was a bit of resentment over this decision”, according to Ignazio Cassis, who is not only Switzerland’s president, but also its Foreign Minister.
However, the meeting on Friday in Paris between Cassis and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, “put an end to a year and a half of "tensions", according to media reports.
“Switzerland and France are friends”, Cassis tweeted after the meeting.
MPs to vote on better living conditions for Swiss donkeys and mules
MP Anna Giacometti filed a motion in the parliament asking that the animal protection law be amended to include a rule that donkeys, mules and hinnies (offspring of a donkey and horse) live in special enclosures reserved just for them, and not be mixed with each other, as is currently the case.
“Horses cannot be social partners for donkeys, mules and hinnies, and vice versa”, the motion states.
Though this proposal may seem trivial to some, the Federal Council is recommending that MPs accept the parliamentary act. The vote will follow a debate on this issue.
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