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Wage gap continues to widen

The wage gap in Switzerland is getting wider and wider, according to a report by the Swiss Federation of Trades Unions issued on Monday.

Between 1994 and 2010 salaries of the highest paid workers went up by 33 per cent but rose by just nine per cent for the lowest paid. “Medium” earners saw a rise of seven per cent, the report says.

The number of people earning over SFr1 million ($1.1 million) increased by 454 per cent, to stand at just under 3,000 in 2008, while those earning more than SFr500,000 went up by 331 per cent, to more than 12,000.

The report says that the gap between disposable incomes has also increased.

“Higher rents, increasing health insurance premiums and higher indirect taxes have swallowed up wage rises and lower direct taxes for the low-income and unmarried middle-income groups,” the report says.

But lower direct taxes plus their increased pay have given high and very high earners more money to spend.

The union says there should be an end to salaries with bonuses, and is also campaigning for a minimum wage. It also wants health insurance premiums to be related to income.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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