The rapid increase in the number of corona cases in Switzerland is a shock, even for experts. The Federal Council tightened the reins a week ago, and many cantons have massively tightened their protective regimes since then. On Wednesday, the state government will tighten the screw across Switzerland – with restrictions for restaurants, dance halls and cultural and sports event organizers.
A disaster for those affected. «The damage is immense. People are already going to restaurants much less », says Gastrosuisse President Casimir Platzer (58). Those affected, however, do not fundamentally conflict with health policy measures, but instead demand a renewed expansion of the support and compensation regime. This was actually reduced again after the summer months.
It is also clear to the new SP co-boss Mattea Meyer (32): “Doing nothing is always more expensive for us!” The acceptance of the corona protective measures stand and fall with the economic cushioning measures, she says, and insists on another aid package. There are also calls for new aid measures in the cantons.
SP-Co-Chef Mattea Meyer: “Many trivialize the virus out of sheer existential fear”(00:52)
These are the most important aids
VIEW shows where the federal government is currently providing help and where it could expand. These are the most important points:
Short-time work: With the Corona crisis, the possibility of short-time work compensation was expanded. The withdrawal is possible for a maximum of 18 instead of 12 months. In addition, a simplified procedure will apply until the end of the year. On the other hand, the extension of short-time work to temporary employees, fixed-term contracts and employees on call was deleted again. Here, for example, the trade union federation insists on a correction and demands “a full wage guarantee for the low-wage earner and the continuation of short-time work for as many jobs as possible”.
Income replacement: In the first wave, compensation for income compensation was unbureaucratically extended to the self-employed. The regulation expired in mid-September, and since then it has only been possible to apply for income replacement in certain situations – for example in the case of directly ordered company closures or event bans. In the new Covid-19 law, Parliament pushed through against the Federal Council to ensure that those who have to “significantly restrict” their activities also receive income compensation. A guide value is a drop in sales of at least 55 percent compared to previous years. Nevertheless, thousands are currently waiting for the feed, because the Federal Council is taking its time with the regulation. However, this should be adopted soon. The good news: Those affected will receive the money retrospectively until September 17th.
Hardship regulation: With the new Covid-19 law, a hardship regulation is created for companies. In particular, companies in the event industry, showmen, service providers in the travel industry and tourism companies can apply for support if the annual turnover is below 60 percent of the multi-year average. The ordinance of the Federal Council is a long time coming. This should only be ready in February – far too long for many companies in need. “In view of the worsening situation that is too late,” write the social partners – employers and trade associations as well as trade union federation and Travailsuisse – in a joint letter to the Federal Council, as reported by “Radio SRF”. The regulation must now be put into force “as soon as possible”.
Business rent waiver: This week, Parliament will decide whether the businesses affected by a forced closure will receive a rental discount of 60 percent. The Federal Council rejects this and opposes the law, which it grumblingly had to draft. This week, Parliament decided on the bill in a special session. The wind has turned: the law is on the brink because of the CVP’s zigzag course.
Corona-Notkredite: The bridging loan period expired on July 31st. A total of 136,434 loans totaling just under CHF 17 billion were granted. No new loans are currently planned. But with the second wave there is a demand that the loan program be restarted.
There are also various other support measures, for example for tourism, culture, media or sports. If the economy collapses again with the second wave, the call for an economic stimulus package is likely to get louder again.