Shares in %
2022 expenditure by task area
Shares in %
Social welfare accounts for 31.5% of total expenditure. This expenditure is bound by law and therefore barely controllable in the medium term. Old-age and survivors' insurance accounts for half. Other key areas include the Confederation's contribution to disability insurance and individual premium reductions, as well as migration expenditure. Expenditure growth depends largely on demographic developments, as well as inflation and salary trends.
Finances and taxes account for 14.6% of total expenditure. Expenditure growth in this area is largely specified and can be influenced only in the long term. The shares of federal receipts, for example, are set out in the Constitution and depend directly on the amount of receipts, and interest expenditure is determined by debt and the development of interest rates.
Transportation accounts for 13.4% of total expenditure. It includes expenditure on rail and public transportation (64%), road transportation (34%) and aviation (3%). Transportation expenditure is financed primarily by earmarked tax receipts and is thus largely restricted. Most of this is channeled into the railway infrastructure fund (RIF) and the motorway and urban transportation fund, through which the operation, maintenance and extension of the transportation infrastructure are steered.
This task area accounts for around 10.9% of total expenditure. The education and research task area is a priority for the Confederation. Its development is predominantly shaped by the 2021-2024 ERI dispatch, as well as by EU education and research programs. On December 16, 2020, Parliament approved the financing for participation in the 2021-2027 Horizon package (6,154 mn) and Switzerland's full association to EU research programs. However, since the EU will not conclude any agreements with third countries in 2021, Switzerland will finance the applications of Swiss researchers validated by the EU on a project-by-project basis in 2022.
Security accounts for 8.2% of total expenditure. More than 80% of security expenditure is attributable to military national defense, which was determined by the 2021-2024 Armed Forces payment framework, requested in the 2020 Armed Forces dispatch. The task area includes the tasks "military national defense", "civil protection and civilian service", "police, prison system and intelligence" and "border controls".
The agriculture and food task area accounts for around 4.7% of total expenditure. Most of this expenditure is controlled by means of three payment frameworks. Parliament set the payment frameworks for the implementation of the 2022-2025 agricultural policy as follows: direct payments 11.2 billion, production and sales 2.2 billion, means of production 0.6 billion.
The international relations task area accounts for 4.7% of total expenditure. Over three quarters of its expenditure goes to development cooperation. Most of the remainder is attributable to political relations, i.e. Swiss diplomatic and consular representations and expenditure for international organizations.
The five remaining task areas (institutional and financial conditions, culture and leisure, health, protection of the environment and spatial planning, economic relations) account for 12.1% of expenditure.
Development of selected 2022 expenditure items by task area
in CHF mn and %
Expenditure is budgeted at 78 billion for 2022, down 4.8% from the 2021 budget. This decrease is due to significantly lower expenditure for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 1.2 billion is budgeted for this in 2022 (particularly vaccines 0.6 bn; losses on COVID-19 joint and several sureties 0.4 bn). Excluding the COVID-19 measures, expenditure is up by 1.5 billion (+2.1%), which means somewhat milder growth than the economy (nominal GDP +3.8%) and total receipts (+3.3%). Expenditure growth is broadly distributed among the task areas, with only agriculture expenditure stagnating.
Social welfare expenditure is set to fall by 6.9% (-1,816 mn) in 2022. Excluding COVID-19 expenditure, however, there is a rise of 1.6%. While the Confederation's payments to old-age insurance (+309 mn), disability insurance (+106 mn) and supplementary benefits (+64 mn) will increase, expenditure in the migration sector will decrease (-107 mn), assuming that the number of asylum seekers will remain low. Social welfare expenditure will climb by an average of 3.3% per year through to 2025, due essentially to the anticipated entry into force of the AHV reform in 2023.
Expenditure on international relations is set to rise by 0.8% (+31 mn). On the one hand, funds for multilateral development cooperation will increase, while on the other there will be a decline in political relations expenditure (lower loans to the FIPOI Building Foundation for International Organisations).
Transportation expenditure will fall by 4.2% (-453 mn). Excluding COVID-19 expenditure, however, transportation expenditure will grow by a robust 2.1% in the 2022 budget year. The increase will go almost exclusively to public transportation, especially railway infrastructure (+248 mn). Road transportation expenditure will decrease (-46 mn), as lower receipts (e.g. mineral oil tax) will reduce the contribution to the motorway and urban transportation fund.
A rise of 2.3% (+191 mn) is budgeted for education and research. Primarily the federal contributions to the ETH Domain, the Swiss National Science Foundation and EU research programs will be increased. Moreover, funds will be set aside for the promotion of training in the area of nursing (counterproposal to the nursing initiative). The Confederation's contributions to the ETH Domain and EU research programs (Horizon Europe) are the largest items in the education and research task area. Since the EU will not conclude any agreements with third countries in 2021, Switzerland will be treated as a non-associated third country until further notice. The Confederation will thus finance the applications of Swiss researchers validated by the EU on a project-by-project basis in 2022.
Agriculture and food expenditure is set to remain at the previous year's level (-0.2%; -7 mn). Although more funds are budgeted for structural improvements and the dairy industry, expenditure on agriculture family allowances is lower and the temporary sugar support will end in 2021.
Security expenditure will rise by 1.4 % (+87 mn), due mainly to military national defense (+68 mn). Among other things, personnel expenditure will climb in connection with the further development of the Armed Forces and peacebuilding, and IT expenditure is set to grow as a result of various ICT projects. In addition, growth of 10.9% (+19 mn) is budgeted for civil protection and civilian service, driven almost entirely by the establishment of the National Secure Data System (NSDS). Expenditure in the areas of police, prison system and intelligence, and border controls will remain stable (+0.4% and -0.3%, respectively).
Finances and taxes expenditure will rise by 2.7% (+294 mn). Third parties' shares of federal receipts will increase (+122 mn) on the back of the positive development of direct federal tax (cantons' share +408 mn). At the same time, the cantons' share of withholding tax will fall (-84 mn) and a special factor from the previous year will no longer apply (refund of VAT on radio and television reception fees; -186 mn). The Confederation's interest expenses will rise (+43 mn), as the lower issue volume relative to 2021 will result in less revenue from negative interest rates. Furthermore, fiscal equalization expenditure will be higher (+131 mn), due mainly to the temporary mitigation measures in connection with the reform in 2020.
Development of expenditure
in CHF bn and % of GDP
The substantial expenditure to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the simultaneous decline in GDP caused the expenditure ratio to climb to 12.5% in 2020. In the 2022 budget, the budgetary position is expected to return to normal. Expenditure is down 4.8% on the previous year's budget, while the economy will gradually recover from the crisis and will probably grow by 3.8% in nominal terms. The expenditure ratio (budget in % of GDP) will thus fall to 10.3% in 2022. The expenditure ratio for subsequent years is 10.1%, thereby approaching the pre-crisis level of 9.8% (2019) again.
Last modification 12.08.2021