It is Swiss referendum time again this coming Sunday 8 March 2015. Some think that child allowances paid by the state to those with children should not be taxed. Currently they are taxed in the same way as any other taxable income.
This vote entitled “Help Families” was launched by the Democratic Christian Party (PDC/CVP). The amount of tax at stake is estimated at CHF 1 billion.
Along with the PDC, the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) supports this initiative. It argues that it is important to support families, who will in any case spend the extra money, returning it to the economy.
The Liberal Radical Party (PLR/FDP), the Green Liberal Party and the Swiss Socialists Party (PSS/SPS) are all against the initiative. They point out that wealthy families with higher marginal tax rates will gain the most. The PLR suggests simplifying the tax system instead and proposes a new system of individual taxation to eliminate the high marginal tax rates imposed on second earners under the current system – tax rates are currently based on total family income rather than the income of each spouse.
The most recent polls suggest the initiative will be rejected. While supported by the majority of parents, those without children are generally against it. The most popular argument against it is the loss of tax revenue and inevitable cost to other taxpayers.
Federal administration website (in French)
Liberal Green Party website (in French)
UDC’s arguments (in French)
PLR’s arguments (in French)
PSS’s arguments (in French)
PDC’s arguments (in French)