This week, Switzerland’s upper house rejected proposals to cut the tax on fuel to counteract the impact of sharp price rises, reported RTS.
Neighbours France, Germany, Italy and Austria have all cut the tax on fuel. But Switzerland hasn’t. The Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) has been pushing for one, arguing that its justified by the high financial burden of high fuel prices on commuters, middle class families, rural residents and businesses.
However, most other parties do not support fuel tax cuts. Some centrists argue that the move is not well targeted at those that really need it, while others, in particular the Green Party, think it reduces an incentive to cut fossil fuel consumption, which is damaging to the environment. On the left, the focus is on support targeted at those with the least means rather than broad price cuts like the ones proposed on fuel tax.
There were also concerns around how to compensate for the lost revenue that would come from any tax cuts, especially following the debt burden created by the Covid pandemic.
In a special session this week, the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, rejected all of the proposals put forward to cut taxes on fuel, leaving Switzerland an outlier among nearby nations.