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Aid programmes top parliament’s spring bill

An increase in development aid and a multi-billion credit to the International Monetary Fund are high on the agenda of parliament’s spring session.

The House of Representatives on Monday began discussing a proposal to boost aid payments to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income – a total of SFr640 million ($690 million) – by 2015, in line with the government and the senate.

The house will also debate a controversial plan to contribute SFr12.5 billion towards the IMF to prop up national economies suffering from the global crisis.

Other highlights of the regular three-week session are proposals for tax breaks to promote property ownership, measures to improve road safety and make bonus payments no longer tax deductible.

Parliament will also have renewed discussions over reforms of the health system and disability and accident insurance.

Correspondents say political parties are likely to use the session as a platform to promote their agendas ahead of October’s general election.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR