Swiss families to lose 250 francs a month to rising cost of living, union says
The Swiss Trade Union Federation (SGB), the largest trade union in Switzerland, has sounded the alarm over the rising cost of living. According to the union, a family in Switzerland could be paying 3.000 Swiss francs a year more in costs by the end of 2022.
Inflation in Switzerland means higher cost of living for families
Currently, inflation in Switzerland is over 2 percent. This is not particularly high in comparison to other European nations like the Netherlands or Germany, which has seen inflation highs of 7,3 percent, but still a dramatic rise for Switzerland.
The SGB said that alongside consumer prices, the cost of health insurance is also expected to increase by up to 10 percent by the end of the year. According to their estimates, a family with two children will see their purchasing power fall by 3.000 Swiss francs a year by the end of 2022, while individuals will see a fall of 1.600 Swiss francs.
Union demands higher wages for workers in Switzerland
The SGB claimed that now is a “favourable” time for wage increases across the board, as currently top earners are being granted higher salaries, while Swiss cantons are set to return to achieving surpluses after the pandemic. The group reiterated its demand that every worker in Switzerland should receive a salary that changes depending on the cost of living, and that all employees should receive a wage of at least 4.000 Swiss francs a month.
In response, the chief economist for the Swiss Employers’ Association, Simon Wey, said that a salary increase for “all sectors and businesses” was not possible. He made the point that international companies “cannot just raise wages” exclusively in Switzerland, as they would be forced to raise salaries in every country they operate in.
Swiss government drafting emergency plans to cope with cost of living
Currently, the Swiss government is drafting emergency plans to cope with the rising cost of energy, and many political parties have started to draft referendums that would cap or reduce health insurance premiums and reduce Swiss taxes.
Concluding his interview with SRF, the President of the SGB, Pierre-Yves Maillard, warned that instead of worrying about being able to afford to eat at a restaurant, many people in Switzerland are now concerned that they will not be able to pay their rent, insurance and fixed charges.