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Swiss SME Union Strenghtens "No" Camp Ahead Of 1:12 Referendum

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

18 November 2013

While welcoming the results of the latest survey on the 1:12 Initiative for Fair Play, Swiss Trade Association SGV usam, a business organization representing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Switzerland, nevertheless underlined the need to redouble efforts to oppose the proposal ahead of the November 24 referendum, warning that the measure would lead to a revenue shortfall of up to CHF4bn (USD4.4bn).

A second survey conducted by Swiss market research institute gfs.bern has revealed that 36 percent of those questioned were in favor of the 1:12 initiative, which aims to limit excessive remuneration, while 54 percent rejected the proposal, and 10 percent were undecided.

A similar survey conducted by gfs.bern in October showed that 44 percent of those interviewed backed plans to curb excessive remuneration, while 44 percent were against, and 12 percent were still wavering.

Given the damaging impact that the 1:12 initiative would have on the whole of the Swiss economy and society if adopted, SGV usam emphasized that it is imperative to further strengthen the "no" camp.

Defending its stance, the union insisted that the initiative would have no impact on excessive executive remuneration. Instead, the proposal merely risks leading to a loss of fiscal revenues and health insurance contributions estimated at around CHF4bn, the union maintained, stressing that this significant shortfall would have to be offset by the Confederation's middle class, and by SMEs in Switzerland.

Furthermore, the measure would dramatically increase bureaucracy, as the state would effectively set salaries and be required to monitor and to guarantee compliance, the union ended.

Put forward by Switzerland's Young Socialists, the 1:12 initiative aims to restrict executive remuneration, thereby reducing social inequality in Switzerland. The proposal stipulates that the salary of a company's highest paid member of staff must not exceed 12 times that of its lowest paid worker. The objective is to ensure that no employee is able to earn more in a month than the lowest-paid employee receives over the course of an entire year.

TAGS: compliance | business | insurance | Switzerland

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