CHF 15 billion loss for the Swiss National Bank
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced in January that it expects to make a CHF 15 billion loss for 2018. This news is not a complete surprise, because currency fluctuations in particular had been fuelling expectations of an extremely negative result. The federal government and the cantons benefit from the SNB’s profit distributions and therefore take keen interest in the bank’s results. Such payouts are crucial for some cantons. Despite the record loss, the SNB is likely to pay the maximum possible sum of CHF 2 billion to the federal government and the cantons. This is due to the SNB’s high profit distribution reserves.
Skipping school in the name of climate protection
In January, thousands of pupils aged 12 and older held coordinated demonstrations against climate change in virtually all of Switzerland’s major cities, protesting at what they see as political inertia on this issue. Since the first demonstrations of this type began in December 2018, the student protest movement has rapidly grown. Activists are calling for a national declaration of climate emergency, zero net greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland by 2030, and “systemic change” across the board.
Change affecting Swiss television
From 3 June 2019, you will no longer be able to receive Swiss television via an indoor or roof antenna. This change will also affect some viewers in neighbouring countries, who in future will only be able to receive SRG SSR broadcasts via the methods that most of us already use: cable, satellite or Internet. A website in the three national languages of German, French and Italian (http://ogy.de/swiss-tv) contains information and advice about the change.
Further increase in health insurance premiums
Swiss health insurance premiums have increased again in 2019 – this time by around 1.2 %. However, the starting point for this rather modest increase was already high. Amounting to an average of CHF 4,464 per capita, premiums are onerously steep for many families and are the second most common reason for indebtedness. More and more voices within the National Council and the Council of States are now calling for tax deductions on health insurance premiums to be increased at the very least. However, any such move would have no effect in putting the brake on Swiss healthcare costs.