Majority of people in Switzerland want tax cuts on fuel, poll finds
According to a recent poll by Tamedia, 64 percent of people in Switzerland want to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel to alleviate the cost of living. In many areas, the price of a litre of petrol has risen above two Swiss francs, leaving drivers significantly out of pocket.
Majority of people in Switzerland want tax cut on petrol and diesel
In the poll, 64 percent of those surveyed were in favour of reducing petrol prices by cutting Swiss taxes. Many countries across Europe like Italy, the Netherlands, France and Germany have already taken steps to reduce the cost of living, and a majority in Switzerland want to follow suit.
The increase in fuel prices has been blamed on the war in Ukraine, which has destabilised global supply chains and raised the prospect of an oil embargo on Russia by Europe. "If the war continues, the prices will probably rise again by five to 10 rappen (centimes) in the next few weeks," noted Bernhard Maurer, head of trading at the petrol station operator Oel-Pool.
National Councillor Christian Imark said that he is not wholly surprised by the findings, explaining that "the topic is burning under people's nails. Anyone who drives a car every day pays a three-digit amount more per month - that is too much.”
Swiss politicians call for reduction of VAT on fuel
Having already submitted a motion to parliament back in March, Imark called on the Federal Council to act immediately to reduce costs. He warned that if prices stay where they are or increase, people who rely on fuel for work, such as those in the construction industry, will start losing their jobs.
Supported by his colleagues in the Swiss People’s Party, Imark's proposal is to reduce value-added tax and duties on fuel. He argued that the federal government’s loss in revenue from the policy would not be “real” due to the already inflated price and that it would save the average consumer seven rappen (centimes) a litre.
Not all agree that Swiss drivers should receive a tax cut
Others are not so sure that drivers need tax breaks, with the president of the Green Liberal Party Jürg Grossen, noting that petrol prices, on the whole, have fallen in the last 10 to 12 years. "There's no need for tax breaks for drivers at the moment," he said, citing the fact that cars have become more fuel-efficient in the last 10 years, making the overall fuel cost roughly the same.
His view was echoed by the Green Party, with National Councillor Franziska Ryser claiming that people in Switzerland can either cover the extra cost or take steps to reduce the amount of fuel they use, such as by using public transport or driving slower on motorways. “In the medium term, we have to get away from fossil fuels anyway. This is only possible if price rises are passed on,” she said.