Autumn parliamentary session begins in Switzerland
Swiss parliament expected to tackle a number of pressing issues
The Swiss government is hoping to use the new session to tackle some particularly challenging issues that the country currently faces. Firstly, the most obvious problem is the rising cost of energy, causing home utilities to surge in price and the potential for an electricity shortage in the upcoming winter, especially if the weather is cold.
For months, experts have been warning that measures need to be taken to prevent a severe energy crisis this winter and people have been calling on the government to intervene as prices rise. The energy crisis has been worsened by sanctions placed on Russia following its military offensive in Ukraine, pushing the price of energy up and increasing inflation across the board.
Inflation is likely to be a key sticking point this parliamentary session
Increases in the general price level are also set to be a key subject for debate in the upcoming months. While Switzerland has been largely sheltered from the magnitude of inflation seen in other European nations, the country still has many inflationary pressures - increasing demand for goods and services post-lockdown, rising oil and gas prices and supply chain issues and shortages caused by trade disturbances during the peak of the pandemic.
Another rising cost playing on the mind of the Swiss in particular is the rising cost of healthcare. The Swiss healthcare system relies heavily on contributions to health insurance, but premiums have been consistently rising over the past two decades. The Swiss government is looking to intervene to prevent any more costs being passed on to consumers, especially at this time when other costs are rising. Compulsory insurance premiums are set to rise by up to nine percent in 2023.