Amadeusz Juskowiak

Swiss have net gain in 1985 government finances

Switzerland recorded last year its first overall surplus in government finances since 1974 ending with a net gain worth 905 mln Swiss francs the Finance Ministry said

The surplus including cash transactions and longterm investments contrasted with the 1985 shortfall of 106 billion francs and the 297 mln franc deficit proposed in the 1986 budget

All categories of revenues were higher than forecast and expenditures were 433 mln francs under forecast

The Finance Ministry said expenditures totalled 2318 billion francs against 2288 billion in 1985 and the 2361 billion proposed in the original 1986 budget

Tax receipts at 2511 billion were well above the 1985 figure of 2219 billion and the forecast for 1986 of 2371 billion This left a surplus on cash transactions totalling 194 billion francs against a forecast 102 mln and the 1985 deficit of 696 mln

Income and wealth taxes ended 749 mln francs above forecast 378 mln of which came from higher than expected receipts on the stamp duty on financial market transactions

Taxes on comsumption brought in 638 mln francs more than planned and other taxes 16 mln francs more the ministry said

The ministry said the improvement in the overall account reflected years of efforts by the government and parliament to introduce saving and the acceptance by people of necessary tax increases But economic factors including the low rate of inflation the weak dollar falling interest rates and low oil prices were also important factors

A spokesman for the ministry said the government had used its improved cash position to retire about one billion francs of government debt which accounted for the difference between the 194 billion surplus on cash transactions and the 905 mln franc overall surplus

REUTER