A tax on the unvaccinated in Switzerland? Operation Libero says yes
The Swiss political movement Operation Libero has called for a tax to be levied on those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. The unvaccinated tax would be used to invest in the healthcare system in Switzerland or in the wider economy.
Tax on unvaccinated similar to tobacco or alcohol levy
Speaking on the SRF talk show Club, the Co-President of Operation Libero, Sanija Ameti, said that amid the “overloading of the health system,” unvaccinated people should “share the cost of their decision.” The debate on Club was to determine what measures should be taken to curb the recent rise of COVID-19 hospitalisations, which is putting great strain on doctors and staff.
In a 20-minute conversation, Ameti explained the idea of a “polluter pays principle” for COVID. “When you buy a packet of cigarettes, you pay tobacco tax according to the polluter pays principle, and when you buy alcohol you pay an alcohol tax." She implied that a person who refuses vaccination is putting a burden on the health system, much like alcohol and tobacco consumption.
Taxes and fines on the unvaccinated announced in Europe
Ameti explained that the same taxes that are used to prevent general health issues should also be applied to unvaccinated people. Ameti noted, "Be it in the health care system or in the economy: [a new tax] could at least cushion the financial and social consequences of the decision to not get vaccinated."
The concept of fines for the unvaccinated is not new, with Austria mandating vaccination and Greece fining people over 60 years old 100 euros a month from January if they don’t register for a vaccine. Ameti said that the tax rate could be determined later.
Swiss politicians play down idea of unvaccinated tax
Speaking on the same show, politicians played down the idea of an unvaccinated tax, with National Councillor Lorenz Hess affirming, "Anything that smells of "compulsory vaccination through the back door" will be met with great resistance in Switzerland."
He went on to argue that the logistics of even collecting the tax, especially as more than 30 percent of the population in Switzerland are unvaccinated, would take “half a federal office.” He also said creating a “vaccination register” would be problematic in its' own right.