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New asylum accommodation to cost Swiss government over CHF200 million 

Switzerland asylum federal asylum centre in canton Zurich.
Federal asylum centre in canton Zurich. KEYSTONE/© KEYSTONE / CHRISTIAN BEUTLER

The Federal Council is requesting eleven supplementary credits from Parliament. The two largest relate to reserve power plants at CHF315 million ($357 million) and migration expenditure at CHF255 million - the majority of which is to be spent on additional accommodation, including security and support, due to increasing asylum applications.  

The supplementary credits total CHF604 million, as announced by the Federal Council on Friday. The expenditure would be offset by additional revenue and would be budget-neutral for the Confederation.  

The credit request of CHF315 million for the reserve power plants is due to the additional costs incurred by the Federal Office of Energy as a result of the division of labour between the federal government and Swissgrid. However, according to the Federal Council, these will be “fully financed by additional income from the tarif for grid usage”.  

Reducing pending issues  

The government justifies the additional costs of CHF255 million in the area of asylum with the fact that the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) now expects 33,000 asylum applications and around 25,000 additional applications for S status for 2024. This is significantly more than was envisaged in the budget. At that time, the assumption was 20,000 asylum applications and 10,000 status S applications.  

The majority of the credit is to be used for additional accommodation, including security and support. CHF239 million has been earmarked for this. In addition, the SEM is to be given more capacity for processing asylum applications. The 85.9 additional temporary full-time positions are intended to ensure that there is no large backlog of pending applications. A further CHF16 million has been requested for interpreter services.  

CHF1 million for the Women’s European Football Championship  

The other supplementary credits include a support package for humanitarian demining. They also cover issues such as combating the misuse of Covid-19 bail-outs, legal costs in connection with the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS and the organisation of the European Women’s Football Championship. The latter will cost CHF1 million.  

Adapted from German by DeepL/kc/amva 

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI swissinfo.ch we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.  If you want to know more about how we work, have a look here, and if you have feedback on this news story please write to english@swissinfo.ch.

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