Switzerland has an extremely low level of public debt compared to other countries. It must use its robust financial situation to contribute substantially towards funding a globally equitable ecological transformation, in Switzerland and abroad.
What it is about
Switzerland brought in a debt brake in 2003. It is currently very rigorously configured, and is being applied even more stringently. The upshot is automatic debt reduction, despite Switzerland's long history of low public indebtedness compared to other countries.
The Swiss policy of austerity for austerity’s sake means that the Confederation's financial elbow room remains needlessly restricted when it comes to investing in sustainable development. This policy furthermore keeps the budget for international cooperation (IC) under constant pressure, as IC is one of the few non-earmarked expenditure items in the federal budget, together with agriculture, the army, and some areas of culture.
The centre-right-dominated Parliament is thus able to exert considerable influence on financial policy. This financial policy is no longer adequate for responding to the current polycrisis. Swiss financial policy needs a paradigm shift that frees up the financial resources required to tackle the immense social challenges at home and abroad.