The city of Bern is generous with tax money.
Tobias OchsenbeinEditor Politics
Despite running deficits and debts in the billions: the city of Bern wants to buy a property in the residential zone for almost four million francs. For a playground. A non-partisan committee consisting of middle-class politicians, however, called the referendum. The criticism: “Much too expensive for a game and meeting zone!”
Again and again, criticism of the financial policy of the red-green governed city. Because: Bern is heavily in debt. According to the financial plan, by the end of the year she will have accumulated a billion and 395 million francs in debt. Only: Although the city should actually save, they are happy to spend the money with both hands.
The city of Bern is renting rooms on Welle 7 near the train station for CHF 2.4 million. From the second quarter of 2023, she wants to set up a bicycle station with 660 bicycle parking spaces and operate it until mid-2025. As a pilot project, bicycles can be parked there for free for 24 hours.
The project called a referendum committee into action. His criticism: “Unnecessary luxury, too expensive!” It complained that the city incurred costs of over 80 francs per month and bike space. With the project you risk wasting taxpayer money unnecessarily. Alone: the committee had no chance. The city of Bern voters clearly approved the loan.
Since the beginning of the year, employees of the city of Bern have received a full cost-of-living allowance of three percent. They have the SP to thank for that. At her request, the city of Bern made an additional CHF 7 million available for the 2023 budget. This increased the deficit in the city of Bern’s budget for the current year from 28 to 35 million Swiss francs.
Red-Green justified the cost-of-living adjustment by saying that the city was obliged to do so according to the personnel regulations. And: Ultimately, those employees who kept the city alive with their jobs would benefit.
The city of Bern is committed to climate and city-friendly mobility. For this reason, it affords preferential conditions for city employees for the Velo Bern bike rental system in the city of Bern. These receive generous discounts. Employees can use the bike rental free of charge for the first hour. After that, they benefit from a cheaper rate. The offer is also valid at other bike rental locations in Switzerland and during employees’ free time.
And: Individual stations have even been specially adapted to the needs of city employees. In 2018, the city council approved the necessary loan. The employee offer runs until the end of June 2023. Cost: CHF 800,000.
The municipal council would like to be able to make this offer available to city administration employees, teachers and city council members in the future. He therefore submitted a commitment loan of almost CHF 800,000 to the city council for approval for the period from July 2023 to the end of 2025. If the city council approves the loan, the project will continue without interruption.