Voting “Arena” – Maurer vs. Badran: Hard and hearty tax duel – News


Top-class round with Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer and SP Vice President Jacqueline Badran argues about emissions tax.

A neck-and-neck race is emerging in the February 13 vote on the issuance duty, also known as stamp duty. According to the GFS survey commissioned by SRG, 49 percent of those surveyed are currently against abolition and 42 percent are in favor.

The planned relief for companies is met with strong resistance from the left, but the topic is also emotionally charged for the middle class. High-profile guests were therefore invited to the voting “arena” on Friday, including Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, SP Vice President Jacqueline Badran, chief economist at the Swiss Confederation of Trade Unions Daniel Lampart, economist Rudolf Strahm and other experts. It came to a heated but friendly duel between Maurer and Badran.

Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who represented the position of the Federal Council and Parliament in the “Arena”, wants to abolish the emissions tax. This is incurred when entrepreneurs raise equity, for example because they want to found or expand a company. The Confederation takes in around 250 million francs a year from the emissions tax, which is 0.3 percent of the federal revenue of 80 billion. Now this income is to be lost – in favor of Switzerland as a business location.

Federal Councilor Maurer sees the abolition of the emissions tax as “an investment in the future” to keep companies in Switzerland, create jobs and strengthen economic growth. Especially with regard to the coming minimum tax of 15 percent, which the OECD countries, including Switzerland, have agreed on, companies should be relieved of additional taxes. “We’re in international competition that’s getting tougher,” says Maurer. The abolition should therefore be a “welcome signal to the world in the environment of international competition”, to all companies that want to invest and grow, whether start-ups or large corporations.

“Switzerland, as a modern, dynamic location, has to offer a level playing field,” says Maurer. The abolition of the emissions tax is intended to create an incentive for companies to invest in Switzerland and offer young companies better start-up support.

SP Vice President Jacqueline Badran counters that in Switzerland, capital is traditionally high, while income and consumption are taxed low. This model has contributed to the successful model of Switzerland, which is definitely innovative – and especially despite the emissions tax. “For 25 years, however, we have done nothing else in this country than relieve capital slice by slice,” says Badran. The reduction of capital-based taxes and the associated burden on citizens have a system. She therefore speaks of a “bitch”, because the missing income would be passed on to “the people who go to work every day and make sure that this country works”.

The debate has shown once again that the left is about principle. After a series of tax reforms in the past that affected VAT, it’s now easy enough, says Badran.

At the end of the duel, Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer, who had not been in the “Arena” for eight years until this Friday, replied forgivingly to the question of whether he would come back to the show: “Yes, I can do Ms. Badran in such difficult hours almost never leave them alone.” What the SP Vice President laughs heartily.

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