Covid-19: Impact on federal finances


The pandemic has had a profound impact on federal finances. However, Switzerland's low government debt means that it is well positioned.

The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on federal finances. The effects have been felt in various areas of the federal budget. For instance, the Federal Council has already approved a variety of supplementary credits and retrospective reporting for the 2020 budget and transferred them to Parliament. The table below lists the pandemic-related federal measures that will result in expenditure or loans to companies, employees and the self-employed.

Table: Federal measures (in CHF mn)

Data as at: 12 August 2020

On the receipt side, lower receipts are expected from value added tax, direct federal tax and withholding tax. The trend of receipts is largely driven by economic developments and is thus subject to considerable uncertainty.  

Switzerland's low government debt means that the country and especially the Confederation are in a sound financial position. The debt brake is designed to be flexible in exceptional circumstances and allows for considerable additional expenditure. It contains an exemption for uncontrollable contingencies, such as severe recessions, natural disasters, acts of war and other exceptional events. This exemption ensures that the Confederation can react flexibly in a crisis, without compromising the proper performance of its tasks.

Last modification 12.08.2020

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