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Fiscal discipline receives strong support

A majority of Swiss voters continue to support a moderate fiscal policy that includes imposing a debt limit on the federal budget, a survey has found.

Conducted by Swiss business federation economiesuisse, the annual Financial Monitor survey questioned a representative sample of 1,000 voters from across the country in face-to-face interviews between April 26 and May 15.

Ninety per cent of respondents said they entirely or mostly agreed that the so-called “debt brake” on the federal budget should be maintained.

Introduced in 2002 following a nationwide ballot, the debt brake requires federal spending to be linked to revenues in the budget process – any new spending or tax cuts must be accompanied by an increase in corresponding revenues or cuts to programmes.

The survey found that 57 per cent of voters entirely or mostly agree that current federal programmes should be implemented without raising new revenues, and 56 per cent entirely or mostly agreed that taxes and spending should be reduced simultaneously.

Some 86 per cent of respondents rejected the proposition of new government spending funded by tax increases.

And although a clear majority – 96 per cent – said recent increases in public debt levels experienced by neighbouring countries was caused by the economic crisis, almost as many said the absence of debt brakes and reckless spending by politicians contributed also to increases in public debt.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR