Inflation gobbles up income – see

Inflation gobbles up income – see

Pierrette Berchier (56) works for the administration of the city of Freiburg. People are at peace there – wages have never been adjusted to inflation in the last ten years. The result, according to Berchier: “My earnings have dropped drastically in real terms!”

He notices this when renting, at a gas station, and when shopping – but especially when he’s away from home with his five grandchildren: “A visit to the cinema costs us 130 francs. It’s just not there anymore. ” Limitations are becoming more and more noticeable – says grandma. Now she and her colleagues have submitted a petition to the administration. “We demand a two percent increase in wages.”

Living in Switzerland is getting more and more expensive

Rising Prices: Life in Switzerland is Getting More and More (02:17)

Inflation continues to rise

Only: even if Berchier achieves this increase, it lags behind inflation. Because he keeps climbing. In May, it was already 2.9 percent. No wonder, as the war in Ukraine raises prices. Imported goods, in particular, heating oil and gasoline, become more expensive. The Swiss Confederation of Trade Unions (SGB) expects inflation to be 2.7 percent in 2022.

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Confederates must tighten their belts – especially low- and middle-wage workers. Particularly bitter: they have already lost en masse in recent years. For while inflation grew only moderately until recently, it has already consumed a lot of wages.

60 francs less a month

This is indicated by the new SGB calculations: since 2016, the poorest ten percent of employees have lost 60 francs a month in real terms. This is minus 1.3 percent. Average income saw a loss of 30 francs a month – minus 0.4 percent. In contrast, high wages continued to rise, by a whopping 8.9 percent.

For average earners, this means: if there are no raises, the average family loses 2,200 francs in purchasing power a year. If we add the shock related to the premiums of health insurers, this could go up to 3,300 francs. “Low and middle incomes risk a massive loss,” says SGB chief economist Daniel Lampart, 53.

The families are short of 3,300 francs

Rising costs: families are short of 3,300 francs (01:47)

This also applies to retirees

It will also be tight for retirees: “With the AHV adjustment in early 2023, even inflation will not be balanced unless the Federal Council takes action now,” says Lampart. And for the AHV 21, there is also a 0.4 percent increase in VAT.

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For the SP national councilor and SGB president Pierre-Yves Maillard (54) it is clear: “We need to cut health insurance premiums significantly, and as quickly as possible. Because in the worst case scenario, premiums will rise quickly. ” Politicians must also apply leverage to pensions: “We should at least ensure that inflation is balanced from next year. The Federal Council has been convened. “

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Not all sectors are able to compensate for inflation

In the first quarter of 2022, gross domestic product increased by 0.5%; companies’ business assessments are still positive; the labor market is booming. What about wage increases? Simon Wey, 46, chief economist at the employers’ union: “There are certainly opportunities in crisis-proof sectors such as the pharmaceutical and financial sectors.” Something is also possible in construction. “But not all sectors are able to compensate for inflation. Especially companies that cannot simply pass on price increases to their customers have to deal with falling margins themselves. “

Social partners should lead this discussion, says FDP national councilor Regine Sauter (56). “Politics has lost nothing there.” The situation is different in the case of health insurance premiums. Sauter, however, rejects the additional cut due to inflation: “Premiums are an expression of rising healthcare costs. We have to start with that. Everything else is symptom control. “

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Sauter is equally critical of the intervention in retirement. AHV is already in a bad situation. “Service extensions beyond the legal obligation are not funded.”

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