The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Economics Minister calls on private individuals and cantons to save

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 9 September 2023

Economics Minister Guy Parmelin has appealed to private households to take responsibility in view of inflation, rising health insurance premiums and energy prices.

Economics Minister calls on private individuals and cantons to save
Keystone/SDA©

In addition, the cantons would have to ask themselves where they could still make savings, said Parmelin in an interview.

“Everyone should ask themselves what they could contribute,” said Parmelin in the interview published on Saturday in “Switzerland at the Weekend”. There is no quick help against the loss of purchasing power.

He cited the reduction in premiums as an example. “Some cantons did not use their leeway enough to cushion the premium shock for their population,” said the Federal Council. But private households also have the opportunity to change health insurance every year – and save money.

He also sees cantons and municipalities as having a responsibility when it comes to energy prices. “You would have the power to say: We will only pass on part of the price increase to the population,” he said. He is aware that investments are needed. But the owners of energy companies have a responsibility.

National form requirement “conceivable”

As Minister of Economic Affairs, Parmelin sees his own responsibility, particularly when it comes to rents. According to him, it would be conceivable to introduce the form requirement at the federal level. This means that landlords would have to disclose their previous rent if they change. “This makes it easier to challenge an abusive rent increase; it is also free,” said the SVP Federal Councilor. So far, the obligation does not apply in all cantons. The most recent initiatives at the cantonal level came from the left-wing camp.

Parmelin also commissioned the Federal Housing Office to question the mechanisms for setting rents. The rent adjustment system dates back to the 1980s. “Is that still up to date?” he asked.

Keystone/SDA©

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