The lack of fiscal neutrality in Switzerland

Written on July 11, 2007 by Max Oliva in Development

J.Pozuelo-Monfort, MSc candidate in economic development at LSE.
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Switzerland has shown throughout history its neutrality at war in conflicts that otherwise shook with violence and no wait the people and nations throughout the world, in the two World Wars that spread the panic in the northern hemisphere last century. A neutrality perhaps carefully earned that has its reward in life, in the lives of those who did not fight, in the lives of those who did not decease, who did not die in vain.
A neutrality, that of Switzerland, that once upon a time deserved the admiration of nations, nations that were involved, some more than others, in fierce battles of full regret, of empty reason.
A neutrality that Switzerland was able to maintain at war, a neutrality that Switzerland does not intend to maintain on taxes, attracting in a battle of the powers, the wealthiest individuals, with the promise that taxation will be lower if they move to the Alps.
A neutrality that is torn apart because an easy fiscal competition, based upon a supposed neutrality, is a hypocritical competition, is a competition stabbing on the back the rest of surrounding countries, that must appropriately tax high net worth individuals.
The last move suggested by the political class in Switzerland only benefits the powerful economically speaking, only taxing half of the dividend stream of those wealthy individuals owning over 10% of the shares of a firm. A measure that only benefits high net worth individuals inside and outside Switzerland.
Those European citizens willing to move their fiscal residence to Switzerland should be penalized accordingly. Their benefits for belonging to the European Union should be expropriated. The benefit of a European passport, the benefit of the free circulation, the benefit of the working mobility. One is European of the Union for the good, the bad and the ugly. One cannot be European of the Union for the picture, and in a footnote state that he or she decides to fiscally live in Switzerland. One cannot have the better of the two worlds. We should not allow our citizens to have the better of the two worlds in a society needy of the taxation of high net worth individuals to move forward, inside and outside the European borders.


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