Cashiers of the cantons stay cool
The cantons have to budget without SNB millions this year. No need to panic, say financial directors – and look forward to future distributions.
The Swiss National Bank made a loss of CHF 132 billion last year. There will be no distribution of profits to the federal government and cantons this year.
Peter AeschlimannFederal house editor Sunday view
Even if it had become apparent: bad news is bad news. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) lost a record CHF 132 billion last year. The cantons get nothing. The cashiers who, despite the dark clouds on the investment horizon, were expecting a distribution of profits, now have to tighten their belts. Where is saving and where are possible tax increases to be expected? SonntagsBlick asked all finance directors.
The good news first: There is no panic. Nobody is announcing tax increases, nobody is putting a major project on hold. The tenor is that a one-off lack of money is absolutely manageable. This optimism also prevailed in the budget planning. 16 cantons had counted on the grant, ten cantons planned without the SNB millions.
The canton of Bern, for example, is flirting with 320 million, Zurich with 236 million and Vaud with 187.6 million. “The non-distribution of profits is painful,” says Bernese finance director Astrid Bärtschi (middle). “A deficit and new debt must be expected.” It is currently being clarified where savings are to be made in Bern.
As in many states, the SNB millions in the canton of Zurich helped keep the national budget in balance during the pandemic. The failure of the distribution is unpleasant, but manageable, says a spokesman for the Zurich finance department.
Most cantons assume that there will be a profit distribution again in one to two years.