• Politics

Opposed to the “marriage penalty”

29.01.2016 – Jürg Müller

“It is unfair that married couples and registered partnerships are disadvantaged compared to cohabiting couples in terms of taxes and social insurance. With equal income and assets, they pay more tax and receive lower old-age and survivors’ insurance pensions,” according to the CVP’s homepage. The party has therefore submitted a popular initiative entitled “Supporting marriage and families – against the marriage penalty”. It will face a vote at referendum on 28 February.

The initiative also states that marriage is a “legally governed relationship of cohabitation between husband and wife”. This definition would be entered in the constitution for the first time and would exclude other forms of cohabitation from marriage.

In the view of the initiative’s opponents, it is difficult to determine whether married or cohabiting couples are disadvantaged or advantaged overall, taking account of the federal government and cantonal levels, the different stages in life and the whole tax and social insurance system. The Federal Supreme Court actually concluded at the end of 2013 that cohabiting couples were financially disadvantaged overall compared to married couples despite the applicable old-age and survivors’ insurance regulations.