In this way, the National Council wants to strengthen purchasing power



More money for pensioners and higher contributions to the premium reduction: This is how the National Council wants to strengthen purchasing power

The politicians had submitted a colorful bouquet of demands to cushion the rise in prices. One push each from the center and the SP found a majority at the extraordinary session.

Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer defended himself in the National Council against the desires from Parliament.

key stone

Purchasing power must be preserved. Parliament agrees on that. Without purchasing power, the economy stutters even more and in the end every citizen has less in their wallets. Dwindling purchasing power also means more poverty. But since purchasing power somehow sounds sexier, the National Council plowed through an extraordinary session under this title on Wednesday and argued about concepts that are supposed to maintain this power.

Naturally, the recipes from the various political kitchens are different. Mitte and SP demanded higher pensions and more money for the premium reduction, while the majority of SVP wanted to leverage lower taxes. The People’s Party also tried to use the opportunity to abolish the imputed rental value for pensioners or to abolish the mineral oil tax.

Of arsonists and firefighters

Sometimes the tone drifted into hatred. Alfred Heer (SVP/ZH) accused the left-green side of being to blame for the rising prices. They are “arsonists who are now posing as firefighters,” said Heer. Jacqueline Badran (SP/ZH) calmly but pointedly replied that the SVP was not concerned with low earners at all. In the case of certain proposals from the right-wing side, it would mainly be people with a high income who would benefit – but only in the amount of “a quarter of a Gucci purse”, says Badran.

Center President Gerhard Pfister (ZG) called on Parliament to fight the crisis “vigorously and not just verbally” in view of the riotous debate. He also accused the Federal Council of inaction: the government rejects all of the initiatives, but does not present any solutions of its own, said Pfister. “Do something. That’s what they were elected for,” says Pfister. Regine Sauter (FDP/ZH) gave a liberal rejection to all demands. The proposals submitted are not real solutions at all, but are simply about “setting an example”. At the moment there is no need to intervene in the market, which continues to function, according to Sauter.

Think about the election year

Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer accused the politicians of thinking more about the coming election year than about the real concerns of the population. He defended himself against the accusation of inaction, Switzerland is still in a good position in the European comparison when it comes to inflation. “Should we fire all our powder at the first sign?” Maurer asked rhetorically. Numerous things could also change in the coming months, but there is currently no need for action.

The majority of the large chamber saw things differently: the motions of the center and SP groups were each accepted with a narrow majority (99 to 92, and 97 to 95 votes). The center wants AHV pensions to be fully compensated for inflation, the SP wants to increase the federal government’s contribution to the premium reduction by 30 percent for the coming year. The proposals of the SVP remained without a chance. Next, the Council of States will debate the proposals on Monday.