SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

COST OF LIVING

How the cost of living will change in Switzerland in 2022

2022 is here. Here's what's set to get cheaper and more expensive this year.

Swiss franc coins in a pile
Not everything in Switzerland will get more expensive in 2022. Photo: Pixabay

The following changes will impact the cost of living in Switzerland, whether for better or for worse. 

For an assessment of different types of changes taking place in the new year, check out our following guides. 

Everything that changes in Switzerland in 2022

Everything that changes in Switzerland in January 2022

Swiss inheritance law: What will change in 2022

Our daily bread (and cakes and pastries etc etc) to get pricier

A hike in grain prices will see baked goods become more expensive in Switzerland in 2022. 

Baked goods will rise by around 15 percent on average, with bakeries, bakery chains and larger supermarkets all expected to raise prices. 

Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes put together a summary of how things will look in 2022. 

Croissants will cost CHF1.70 on average, while cream slices (Cremeschnitte) will cost CHF4.80. 

The Swiss Association of Bakers and Confectioners (SBC) told Switzerland’s Sonntagzeitung newspaper that it had issued a recommendation to raise prices between five and 15 percent. 

Furniture

An increase in wood prices will see furniture costs climb in 2022, while delays are also forecast – particularly for people who order custom furniture. 

One consequence of the Covid pandemic has been an increase in renovations and home carpentry, which has led to a shortage of timber. 

Swedish furniture chain Ikea said it expected increases in the cost of many different furniture items, although it was difficult to say how much prices would increase by in Switzerland or elsewhere as a consequence. 

Inflation

In October 2021, Switzerland’s inflation rate rose by 0.3 percent to 1.2 percent, notes the Federal Statistical Office. This is the highest figure since August 2018 and the equal highest monthly increase at any time over the past decade.

Inflation in 2022 is expected to average 1.1 percent across the whole year. While this is high by Swiss standards, it is much lower than most other countries. 

How to protect your savings against inflation in Switzerland

First class at second class prices

Switzerland’s SBB has announced a range of new first class upgrades at a fraction of the normal cost. Some first class upgrades are actually cheaper than a point-to-point ticket. 

“The primary goal is to make better use of trains that are under-utilised,” said Thomas Ammann, spokesman for the public transport industry organisation Alliance Swisspass.

As the promotion is designed to prevent trains from being under-utilised, it tends to work on a spontaneous basis – i.e. you may not be able to upgrade your travel for the next year. 

The ‘spur of the moment’ promotion “allows you to travel in 1st class on one route or for one day” the SBB said. 

More information is available at the following link. 

Train travel: How you can save on first class upgrades in Switzerland

No discrimination by online stores abroad

Good news for people who like to purchase goods on the Internet: from January 1st, Swiss customers will no longer be denied access to foreign online shopping platforms.

Currently, anyone in Switzerland who tries to access the “.de” or “.fr” version of a merchant site, is automatically redirected to a Swiss sales portal where the merchandise is more expensive. But from January 1st, the law will ban geo-blocking on the internet in this area, a rule in force in the EU since 2018.

No more subsidies for gluten free kids

From January 2022, Switzerland will remove a subsidy payment made to children who cannot eat gluten.

The payments are made to families with children who have celiac disease, which means they cannot consume foods with gluten such as pasta and bread.

The government has come under fire for the removal, with critics saying it places undue pressure on poorer families with children.

READ MORE: Switzerland under fire for cutting payments for gluten free children

Postage costs

Sending letters will get a tad more expensive in Switzerland as of 2022, with Swiss Post increasing prices by up to ten cents per letter. The last time prices were increased was in 2004, 18 years ago.

Prices for sending A-Mail letters will increase by ten cents per letter, while B-Mail will go up by five cents.

Prices for sending packages will remain the same, Swiss Post has promised.

Swiss Post say the increases are necessary due to the decline in the amount of post being sent in Switzerland, which is roughly half of that being sent when prices were last increased just under 20 years ago.

READ MORE: Swiss Post to increase mail prices for first time in 18 years

Postboxes to cost 120 CHF

Swiss Post are also increasing the cost of Post Office boxes

Anyone who wants a PO box will now need to pay 120CHF per year. 

This is a significant increase as the boxes are currently free. 

Electricity prices

The cost of electricity will increase slightly for households in 2022, according the Federal Electricity Commission ElCom.

A typical household will pay 21.2 cents per kilowatt hour (ct./kWh) next year, which corresponds to an increase of 0.7 ct / kWh, or 3 percent.

The new cost consists of the tariffs for the use of the network, the tariffs for energy, the charges payable to public authorities, and the surcharge levied on the grid.

READ MORE: How can you save on your household energy bills in Switzerland?

Fuel prices: More expensive petrol

Despite Switzerland’s rejection of a referendum to curb CO2 emissions, petrol prices still look set to climb in 2022. 

Currently, everyone who fills their tank pays 1.5 cents per litre for climate protection initiatives. This is set to increase to five cents per litre at the end of 2021 due to the expiration of a subsidy for motorists. 

As at late December, this looks set to come into effect at the start of 2022. While the right-wing Swiss people’s party have indicated an opposition to the measure, it has won more widespread favour among the Swiss government. 

Unless a change is passed soon, Swiss residents can expect to pay a little more at the pump in 2022

READ MORE: Where in Switzerland can you find the cheapest fuel?

Basel to put in place minimum wage

In June 2021, Basel City voted via referendum to put in place a minimum wage. While unions wanted a standard of CHF23 – which would equal Geneva’s standard as the highest in the world – voters accepted a government counter proposal of CHF21. 

The standard is expected to be implemented in early 2022, although an exact date is as yet unclear. 

Five Swiss cantons now have a minimum standard, although Basel City is the first German speaking canton to have such a rule in place. 

Reader question: Which Swiss canton has the highest minimum wage?

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

COST OF LIVING

Five things to consider when organising childcare in Switzerland

Switzerland's childcare costs are among the world's highest, although there are some ways to save. Originally from the United States but now raising children in Zug, writer Ashley Franzen takes you through some of the most important things you need to consider when finding childcare in Switzerland.

Five things to consider when organising childcare in Switzerland

Switzerland has a peculiar dichotomy when it comes to childcare. Although many parents both work full-time, Switzerland has traditionally been hands off when it comes to childcare support for families with children under five, leading to some of the highest childcare costs in the world. 

For older kids there is before and after-school care that is offered by the canton, but for younger kids who haven’t quite started kindergarten, it can pose problems for parents who are in need of reliable care, particularly those who don’t have grandparents to rely on. 

According to the Swiss Federal Council, “Grandparents as well as daycare centres and extra-school care facilities are the most frequently used forms of childcare, with each category accounting for a third of provision for children aged 0 to 12 years. 81 percent of families in large cities turned to extra-family care for their children compared with 66 percent of families in rural areas. Parents’ satisfaction with the care facilities is high, but there is still unmet demand.” 

What alternative childcare options do I have in Switzerland?

There are various childcare and nursery options for babies and toddlers up through young children aged five or six. Each canton offers childcare, though often there are lengthy waitlists for available spots.

READ ALSO: ‘A developing country’: Why do so few Swiss children attend childcare?

An alternative might be a private or bilingual daycare, but the costs for these are even higher than the locally-run childcares, and sometimes have longer waitlists.

Get on a list early as it’s important to get the ball rolling on paperwork, especially as a foreigner in Switzerland. 

An alternate option is to find the equivalent of a Tagesmütter, or a carer who opens up their home to taking care of up to four children at a time, when there is space available.

The costs remain about the same, but it can be easier to get placement for childcare with an in-their-own-home carer.

Some families opt to hire a nanny, but it may not be possible financially for all families. As for bringing an Au Pair to join the family, there are specific rules and regulations in Switzerland surrounding pay, number of hours they can work (about half of which you would need to be present for), and language rules– the main one being they cannot speak the same language as the family. Additionally, language classes are stipulated for the duration of their stay. 

Suffice it to say, that there are quite a few hurdles to overcome and in order to make sure your family is supported with reliable childcare to meet your needs.

Below are five things to consider as you plan out and organise childcare in Switzerland.

Children play with educational tools. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

1. Compare the options

Childcare in Switzerland is top notch, albeit expensive, so make sure you take the time to figure out where you want to enrol your child.

Some of the best programs are actually run as not-for-profit organisations, such as KiBiz in Zug.

READ ALSO: What alternative childcare options do I have in Zurich?

Most daycares offer a pedagogically strong curriculum and having them at a local daycare gives your child the opportunity to learn the local language. 

2. Decide on someone to name as your emergency contact

This can be a bit harder if you don’t have family or friends nearby, but double check with a colleague or someone that you trust in the case of an emergency or illness.

Finding a colleague that is willing to help by picking up the kids when they were sick when both parents find themselves out of town can be incredibly helpful. 

READ MORE: How much does it cost to raise a child in Switzerland?

3. See if you qualify for subsidies

According to the OECD, Switzerland has the highest cost for childcare among wealthy countries. Cantons are in the process of trying to increase the amount of money they’re able to allocate for assisting families with the costs.

If your household income is under a certain amount (it varies by canton), then it might be possible to have some of the costs of your family’s childcare covered. 

4. Consider having a babysitter or two on hand that you can call

As a foreign parent in Switzerland, sometimes it makes sense to have someone extra to call on for help with childcare coverage– even if you don’t think you’ll need anyone.

Meetings get moved, appointments need to be rescheduled, and sometimes there’s the odd school workday, where kids do not attend classes.

READ MORE: How to save money on childcare in Switzerland

In situations like these, having someone to reach out to, who can help provide coverage (and perhaps even the occasionally date night) helps provide a safety net for parents that might not have any backup to call at the spur of the moment. 

5. Be open for and prepared to have a hurdle or two, be it language or logistics

Many of the institutions around the country, particularly for younger kids are really good at filling in the parents on what the kids have done during the day, what they’ve eaten, how they’ve acted. The seemingly hardest part is actually filing the paperwork and piecing together care, particularly if you don’t speak the local language.

Wendy Noller is originally from Australia, and now lives in Luzern with her husband, and their two children, aged five and seven.

When they were getting signed up for Kita, she expresses that there were quite a few hurdles to consider.

READ ALSO: How different is raising kids in Switzerland compared to the United States?

Initially they received a letter from Canton Luzern stating that there weren’t enough places for their daughter. “We had heard negative reviews from other expats, but learned that there really are a lot of myths around childcare– that it’s not good quality, or there aren’t enough places. My husband and I work 100 percent and [when registering the kids], found the local authority to be both very helpful and responsive.”

She adds that she would call or email every couple days after receiving the letter to express that they both worked full-time and were really interested in their daughter integrating.

In the end, just a couple days before school started, they were told there was a place available for her. 

While their situation had a happy ending, sometimes other backup plans need to be put in place. Organising childcare in Switzerland is doable and having a fellow foreigner who has gone through it before to help share their experience or how to go about it can make a difference in how easy or how difficult it feels. 

SHOW COMMENTS