The Small Chamber had to resolve a total of four motions in an extraordinary session on the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine. Two of them were from President Marco Chies’ SVP (47).
On the one hand, the Council of State of Ticino demanded a reduction by at least half of all petroleum taxes on motor fuels, the obligation to compensate CO2 emissions and VAT. He wanted to commission the Federal Council to submit the project. The decision should be limited to a maximum of four years.
Chiesa’s second initiative called for a bill to reduce taxes on mineral oils on motor fuels for a limited period, but did not contain further specifications.
the population should be released
SVP State Councilor Hansjörg Knecht (62), like Chiesa, wanted an aid package for the population. However, his initiative gave the Federal Council more leeway as to where taxes should be cut.
Finally, SVP councilor Werner Salzmann (59) called for double tax credits for commuters to a maximum of CHF 6,000.
The small chamber rejected Salzmann’s request by 29 votes to 13, 2 abstentions and Knecht’s request by 27 to 17. Chiesa’s two advances also clearly failed the council.
The vice president’s demands are still not out of the question. An extraordinary session on the same subject will be held at the National Council on Thursday. Then some identical approaches are discussed.
Trade and the middle class will bleed
The three traffic makers justified their demands in particular with the effects of price increases on small and medium-sized enterprises, the middle class and families – especially in terms of road traffic and heating costs.
The SVP’s demands did not find favor with the other parties – neither in the center and the FDP, nor in the left-wing camp.
The FDP Council of States Ruedi Noser (61) has argued against all four approaches. This is based on an unrealistic view of the world, namely the expectation that Switzerland will be able to protect its people from world events. It overwhelms the state.
Do not undermine efforts in climate policy
Adèle Thorens Goumaz (50) from the Greens warned that there is no time to waste in the fight against climate change. Actions taken during the crisis should not weaken efforts in the climate policy. In addition, it is an emergency measure based on the watering can principle. Anyone who owns an expensive fuel efficient car benefits especially hard: “Subsidies to the oil industry are the last thing we need.”
Instead, you have to think primarily about people with low incomes – added state councilor of the SP Carlo Sommaruga (62). They are already heavily burdened with rents and health insurance contributions. In the rental area in particular, you need to get started if you want to run smoothly.
SVP State Councilor Hannes Germann (65) sworn in on the conclusions of his group. People’s fears must be taken seriously, he demanded. In this context, he referred to the yellow vest protests in France, which had once been triggered by an increase in fuel prices.
SVP even addressed its finance minister
Finance Minister Ueli Maurer (71) rejected the comparison with other countries. There, inflation is higher and the share of energy costs in household budgets is higher. First of all, an overall view is needed as Switzerland still faces further challenges. One should not “shoot at the powder, which is not available at all, in the first few days”.
The current rise in inflation should be taken seriously, Maurer said. However, after the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, a return to budgetary discipline is essential. (SDA)