Could Switzerland tax its 'super-rich' to raise money for climate battle

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Could Switzerland tax its 'super-rich' to raise money for climate battle
The proposal calls for the super-wealthy to pay more taxes. Photo: Pixabay

Switzerland should impose a 'super rich' inheritance to finance efforts against climate change, young Socialists said on Thursday as they presented the signatures needed to put the issue to a popular vote.


The youth wing of Switzerland's Socialist Party (JS) said they had gathered more than 140,000 signatures on their "For the Future" initiative.

The initiative calls for a 50-percent inheritance tax on amounts of over 50 million francs to help fund an ecological transformation of the Swiss economy.

According to the group's calculation, such a tax would rake in around six billion Swiss francs annually, which they said could be used to renovate buildings, develop renewable energy sources and boost public transportation.

The large number of signatures gathered "shows that the population wants a coherent and socially equitable climate policy" JS vice president Melanie Rufi said in a statement.

Under Switzerland's famous direct democratic system, 100,000 signatures are needed to put virtually any issue to a popular vote.

While the validity of the signatures still needs to be checked, JS voiced confidence that the vast majority of them would be approved, leaving little doubt that Swiss voters would eventually get their say on the matter.

In a vote last June, Swiss voters overwhelmingly backed a new climate bill aimed at steering nation towards carbon neutrality by 2050.


 Mirjam Hostetmann, another JS vice president, insisted that more was required, pointing out in Thursday's statement that 2023 was the hottest year on record.  

 "The climate crisis is here, and it is obvious that immediate and vast action is needed."


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