Calls for all adults to be given 200-franc voucher to boost Swiss economy
The editor of the Sunday edition of the Tages-Anzeiger has called for a grant of 200 Swiss francs to be given to all adults in Switzerland, in order to support businesses who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
People are still scared to go out in Switzerland
Andreas Kunz put forward the proposal in an opinion piece, saying it would be, "The financial boost that many people simply need to find their way back to normal life." The “bon” would be worth 200 Swiss francs and could only be used in restaurants, bars, concert halls, cinemas and nightclubs.
He noted that many people in Switzerland are still scared of returning to social settings like bars and restaurants, which is having a significant impact on the gastronomy sector. Andreas Faller, a health policy advisor, agreed, stating, "It is therefore absolutely essential that you think about how you can bring these people out of shock and back to normal life."
Too early to discuss a stimulus voucher in Switzerland
Faller noted that, in order for the industry to return to normal, “Science must take away people's fear of corona through evidence-based communication.” He called the idea of a voucher “quite interesting” but said it was still too early to implement as “many of the unsettled people would put the voucher aside."
The organisation that represents Swiss cultural workers, Suisseculture, said they welcomed the idea, with Managing Director Alex Meszmer saying it was “certainly useful.” However, he said that the voucher should not replace any existing support measures given by the government, as the situation has still not improved for cultural businesses.
Idea has been rejected by Swiss politicians
Despite the idea receiving support from business leaders and entrepreneurs, Swiss politicians have been quick to dismiss it. National Councillor Katharina Prelicz-Huber claimed, "It's a sham to think that a voucher solves the problems in the cultural sector." Councillor Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter agreed, saying the voucher “only creates new injustices by discriminating against other sectors."
National Councillor Marcel Dobler called the idea “absurd”, claiming that "people will flock to restaurants and cultural institutions again" as soon as coronavirus measures are ended. In relation to the cost of funding the scheme, estimated at around 1,2 billion Swiss francs, he said, “You can certainly do better things with the money."