Lobby group warns of job losses over tax issue

Switzerland could lose 35,000 jobs if it totally abandons the system of granting individual tax rates to rich people, a lobby organisation has said.

This content was published on September 9, 2009 - 16:16

Mehrwert Schweiz (Value Added Switzerland), a group campaigning to maintain the practice, said a study it commissioned showed that those benefiting from the customised rates employed on average 2.3 people for their households and gardens.

That represents 11,400 jobs for the estimated 5,000 people who benefit from the schemes, which vary from canton to canton.

Carried out by Berlin's Humboldt University, the study of 126 individuals in Switzerland also noted that the wealthy paid about SFr580 million ($555 million) into the Swiss tax coffers.

On average they spent SFr346,000 per person on goods and services, with total sales of SFr1.73 billion. That, said the study, supported a further 11,500 jobs.

More than eight out of ten surveyed also said they would want to quit Switzerland if taxes were raised.

The rich supported 18,000 jobs in the construction industry, with new arrivals to Switzerland spending on average SFr2.8 billion a year on new homes.

Half of Swiss cantons operate a system granting individual tax rates to rich people but the electorate in Zurich voted in February to abolish it.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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