Government sees no need for energy price relief steps

The government will not provide financial aid this winter to households hit hard by surging energy prices © Keystone / Christian Beutler

The Swiss government is sticking to its hard line and says it will not provide financial aid this winter to companies and households hit hard by surging energy prices.

This content was published on November 3, 2022 - 09:30

Neither the economic situation nor inflation justify extraordinary relief measures, the cabinet said in a statementExternal link on Wednesday. Instead, it discussed 13 support measures for private individuals and businesses.

Energy prices have fallen well below their highs at the end of August, and while inflation remained elevated at 3.3% in September this was still only around a third as high as in the eurozone, it said.

A panel of government experts has lowered its forecast for GDP growth in 2023 to 1.1%, but does not forecast a recession barring a severe energy shortage, it added. It said it would continue to monitor the situation.

An interdepartmental working group of five departments and 12 federal offices proposed a total of 13 possible support measures: eight for companies affected by the high prices and five for private households.

Among various measures rejected was the possibility for companies to return from the free electricity market to the basic supply. The government had discussed several variants of such a step.

In recent weeks parliament has repeatedly called for relief for those particularly affected by inflation and high energy prices. In particular, the demand for full inflation compensation for invalidity and old-age pensions as well as supplementary and bridging benefits is on the table.

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