The Swiss government announced that its 2014 results were in the red. Given that the Swiss put even the Germans to shame with their ability to balance their budget, what went wrong? This is the first time in almost a decade that this has happened.
The shortfall was CHF 124 million. This came as a surprise as the forecast was for a CHF 121 million surplus. The actual result was CHF 245 million lower than the forecast.
The shortfall was driven largely by a decline in tax receipts. Actual tax receipts were 10.6% lower than forecast however they were only 1.8% lower than 2013.
On the spending side there was good news. Expenditure was 3.2% lower than expected and only 0.5% higher than 2013. The decision to not invest in Gripen jet fighters was one reason for this.
In the end the problem appears to have been mainly budgetary over-optimism on the revenue side.
In response to this disappointing result the Federal Council plans to make adjustments to future budgets for 2017 to 2019 to the tune of CHF 1.3 billion. These measures will ensure that the Swiss debt brake rules are obeyed.
Swiss Confederation press release (in French)