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Limited support Swiss parents spared extra cost of supporting offspring

A group of young adults

Young adults in Switzerland have a variety of educational or vocational training options available to them.


Swiss lawmakers have rejected a proposal to make parents financially responsible for their children until they reached the age of 25, even if they have left the education system. The parliamentary motion was put forward with the aim of tackling growing welfare costs.

But the Senate quashed the motion on Tuesday, a decision that was backed by the government.  Young adults should instead be encouraged to become independent and pay their own way in life, the parliamentary chamber said.

Current Swiss law states that parents must financially support their offspring whilst they are still in education. The motion unsuccessfully sought to extend this responsibility to cover young adults, up to the age of 25, who were not in the education system. 

Only single parents with an annual income of at least CHF120,000 ($123,000) or a couple that brings in a minimum of CHF180,000 combined have any obligation to help out grown-up children who are destitute.

Switzerland is not the only country to issue rulings on the limits of parents supporting their offspring. Earlier this year, an American couple took their 30-year-old son to court to demand that he be forced to leave their home in Syracuse, near to New York. The judge backed the couple’s demand and issued an eviction notice.

A report by the Association of Swiss Cantonal Banks, also released on Tuesday, found that most young people on apprenticeship placements are well capable of managing their finances. The study concluded that vocational training helps instill economic independence and that apprentices are in general careful with their money.

Switzerland’s vaunted vocational education system is widely praised for helping school leavers enter the workplace whilst in many cases studying specialist subjects alongside their work placements.

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