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The other referendum topics on September 27.

On Saturday September 27 the nation will be voting on 5 different topics.

We covered the most controversial last week, the “limited immigration initiative”, which you can read about here.

Four national referendum topics remain to be covered.

Änderung des Jagdgesetzes – Amendment the hunting law.

The current hunting law was written in 1986 when wolves were extinct in Switzerland. Since the reintroduction of wolves in Italy in 1995, some of the wolf population has migrated here and grown to about 80 individuals. They are responsible for the death of 300 to 400 sheep per year, which is about 10% of the natural occuring deaths which happen throughout the year.

The government would like to change the law, to take the wolf off the protected list if they want to so that they may also be shot by hunters, thereby controlling the growing population or dealing with a „troublesome“ individual. The government also wants to be able to change the status of any animal from a protected status to “regular” without having to consult the population. Meaning that at a later stage beavers, lynx, otters and others could also end up being shot.

Those arguing against this amendment are saying that wolves are part of the natural cycle and are also keeping the deer population under control. They are arguing that voting against this amendment protects nature.

The government would like people to vote yes.

Änderung des Bundesgesetzes über die direkte Bundessteuer – Amendment of the federal law about the direct federal tax.

Today if you have children and have them looked after at a kita you can claim up to CHF 10 100.- per year back on your taxes.

Up to the age of 18 you can receive a financial help of up to CHF 6500.- per year.

The government would like to change this and hand out a tax rebait of up to CHF 25 000.- per child going to kita and give families up to CHF 10 000.- per child.

This would come into effect for families who pay their taxes directly and who spend more than CHF 10 100 per child on child care.

The opponents to this motion argue that this only favours the well off families, and the poor and middle class families will have to foot the bill. It is estimated that the cost of this new law is CHF 370 million.

The government counters that this actually benefits up to 60% of families and urge voters to say yes.

The Vaterschaftsurlaub Initiative – Or Paternity Leave (Änderung des Erwerbsersatzgesetztes)

When a child is born the mother is allowed 14 weeks of paid leave whereas the father may get one to two days off. This amendment would give father’s two weeks “paternity” paid leave to be taken within the first 6 months of the child’s birth. This would be calculated at a maximum of CHF 196.- a day of CHF 2744.- This amendment is a counter offer to the original petition which called for a 4 week paid break for father’s.

The opponents are claiming that this will be the ruin of small companies who can’t possibly afford the financial burden of paying an extra two weeks vacation. They then also claim that we will all be paying for it and that this is just a precursor to fathers’ getting 30 weeks off.

The government counters that this is an important milestone in a family’s life and that parents should enjoy the opportunity to co-parent together for a while.

They ask that we vote yes.

Bundesbeschluss über die Beschaffung neuer Kampfflugzeuge – Should Switzerland invest in fighter jets.

The Swiss army currently owns 26 F-5 Tiger jets that were bought in the 80s and 30 F/A-18 purchased in the 1990s. By 2030 both of these types of planes will have reached the end of their life and will have to be replaced.

The government wants to invest 6 billion francs in replacing this older air fleet with more modern planes. They are asking the people to approve this investment in our military air defense but will decide for themselves with the approval of the parliament which planes this will be.

The opponents are saying that there are far bigger threats to Switzerland and the world that cannot be fought with fighter jets, such as climate change, cyber attacks or terrorism and are suggesting that the money be investing into this remedying these issues instead.

The government counters that the world is a lot more insecure than it was and that it is necessary to be able to defend our airspace properly. They are asking the people to vote yes.

We will update you on all the results on September 27.

We will cover the Lucerne referendums in a separate post.

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.