The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Social welfare expenditure falls for the fourth time in a row

In 2022, payments for social assistance fell for the fourth year in a row. Net expenditure amounted to CHF 2.5 billion - a decrease of 9.2% compared to the previous year. At 2.9%, the social assistance rate was lower than ever before.

This is according to the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) from the social assistance statistics published on Friday. According to the figures, net expenditure on economic social assistance has decreased continuously since 2019.

The nominal decrease of CHF 253 million in 2022 is the largest in years. According to the FSO, the decline is closely linked to the lower number of social welfare recipients (-3.1%) and the fall in average annual net expenditure per recipient (-6.2%).

According to the statisticians, there are several reasons for the decline in social welfare expenditure. On the one hand, the economic and labor market situation was favorable. On the other hand, the Covid-19 pandemic had no direct impact on social welfare expenditure in 2022.

More money for supplementary benefits

Overall, expenditure of CHF 2.5 billion on economic social assistance corresponds to 1.2% of total expenditure on all social benefits, the FSO added. According to the overall accounts, this amounted to CHF 207.8 billion in 2022.

More money was spent on supplementary benefits (EL). According to the FSO, the year-on-year increase amounted to CHF 51 million or 0.9 percent. A total of CHF 5.5 billion was paid out in EL in 2022.

Overall, public spending on means-tested social benefits to combat poverty fell by CHF 207 million to CHF 8.6 billion, which corresponds to a decrease of 2.4% compared to the previous year. In total, around 800,000 people - or 9.2 percent of Switzerland's permanent resident population - received at least one such benefit.

©Keystone/SDA

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