Lucerne to give all residents 180 francs to help offset rising prices

Lucerne to give all residents 180 francs to help offset rising prices

To help cope with the rising cost of energy and other essentials, officials in the Swiss city of Lucerne have come up with a rescue package for residents. However, instead of a multi-billion franc spending plan like those announced by countries like Germany, the payment in Lucerne seems quite modest: 180 francs per person.

180 Swiss francs to be given to every resident of Lucerne

Amid a decline in purchasing power and expected increases in the cost of health insurance in Switzerland, officials in Lucerne put forward an urgent motion on October 28, designed to help families and individuals cope with rising costs. Despite facing fierce opposition from the governing council in the city, a narrow majority was found for the policy.

The plan, submitted by the Social Democratic and Green parties, hopes to give every resident of the city, regardless of age or residence status, a one-off payment of 180 francs to help cover energy and other bills. The money will be distributed through payslips for those in work, or a via form filled out either in person or online. The full details of the plan will be announced in the coming weeks.

In arguments against the proposal, according to 20 minuten, the city council said that it would not make sense to give everyone the same amount of money regardless of wealth or whether they actually pay for energy, labelling the idea a “watering can” proposal. One councillor told the newspaper that implementing the small payment would also take "enormous administrative and financial effort” to achieve.

Opponents in Lucerne say payment is like putting a plaster on a gaping wound

Many in the chamber deemed to plan to be the equivalent of putting a “plaster” on a gaping wound. Others, like independent councillor Silvio Bonzanigo, said that cuts to Swiss taxes would make more sense as "there are countless people in the city who do not need this subsidy in the least."

In response, the main supporter of the motion, Simon Roth, countered that “tax cuts would [also] benefit people who don't need them." With a universal subsidy, the councillor argued that the payment would be more likely to immediately benefit those that need it most.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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