On 5 June 2016, the Swiss electorate voted on The "Fair transport financing" popular initiative, submitted on 10 March 2014.
Key points in brief
The Confederation uses half of the mineral oil tax on fuels to carry out tasks related to road traffic. The remaining half is used to fulfil other federal duties. Thanks to the mineral oil surtax and the sale of motorway tax stickers, the Confederation has CHF 3.7 billion to spend annually on tasks related to road traffic. This is one of the Confederation’s largest areas of expenditure.
The aim of the initiative
Because cars are becoming more fuel-efficient, tax revenues are decreasing. This means that there will be less money for road construction and maintenance in the future. To counteract this, the initiative calls for the full revenue generated by the mineral oil tax on fuels to be spent on road traffic – including the half that is currently used to fund other federal tasks.
Position of the Federal Council and Parliament
The Federal Council and Parliament both oppose this initiative. The redistribution of approximately CHF 1.5 billion annually to road traffic would need to be offset by tax rises or a drastic austerity programme. Education, agriculture, defence, public transport and many other federal tasks could be affected by such cutbacks. The Federal Council has already drafted a bill to create a fund for motorways and urban transport (NAF) and believes this is a far better solution. This bill ensures that the motorway network will continue to expand without the financing problem being shifted to other federal tasks.
Last modification 24.01.2022