Switzerland removes tariffs, saving consumers 350 million francs a year
The Swiss government has agreed to scrap half a billion Swiss francs' worth of industrial tariffs, which could lead to large savings for consumers and businesses.
Cutting of industrial tariffs to benefit Swiss business
Tariffs are extra charges that are made when companies or individuals import goods from abroad - this can range from industrial goods to vehicles or food. The National Council has now agreed to scrap all tariffs related to industry, losing a total of half a billion Swiss francs in state income.
Despite leaving a large hole in the Swiss government's finances, the Federal Council estimated that the move could save consumers around 350 million Swiss francs a year. They hoped that it would also be a boon for entrepreneurs and those wishing to start a business, especially those who wish to trade goods globally.
Scrapping tariffs will provide a boost to economy in Switzerland
The abolition of industrial tariffs was opposed by party members across the Swiss political spectrum, with some saying they did not believe the savings would be passed to regular people. Many also made the case that the government could not afford to reduce its income stream during the pandemic.
Swiss President and head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Guy Parmelin, said that the scrapping of tariffs would “give the economy the oxygen it needs after the [COVID] crisis.” Supporters of the bill have claimed that the government could afford the drop in revenue, and that it would provide a boost for international companies and businesses that wished to trade with Switzerland. The bill passed by 106 votes to 75, with 15 abstentions.