Popular initiative “Access to property through home savings”

The popular initiative “Access to property through home savings” is a popular Swiss initiative , rejected by the people and cantons.


The initiative proposes to add an Article 108a to the Federal Constitution stipulating that “the Confederation and the cantons encourage the acquisition of a home for personal use by promoting home savings” , and this by allowing a tax deduction on the cantonal and communal plan of up to 10,000 francs a year.

The full text of the initiative can be found on the website of the Federal Chancellery 1 .


Historical context

Switzerland, despite an increase of almost 6% in 10 years, however, has a much lower rate of ownership (around 40% in 2012) than neighboring countries 2 . This situation is mainly explained by the amount of 20% minimum equity that buyers must bring when buying a property. In order to facilitate homeownership, the initiators simultaneously filed in 2008 two parallel initiatives: this initiative which calls for the creation of a home-savings scheme benefiting from tax relief on the model of a equivalent law for over 18 years in the canton of Basel-Landschaft and a second initiative providing homeowners the opportunity to stop paying the rental value tax upon their retirement and denied in the popular vote on September 23, 2012.

These two initiatives are preceded by a few months of a Housing Savings Initiative that proposes the implementation of several complementary measures (home savings, energy saving housing and tax exemption of home savings plans). ) 3 . The latter will be refused in a popular vote on March 11, 2012 4 .

Collection of signatures and deposit of the initiative

The collection of the required 100,000 signatures began on July 7, 2007 . On January 23, 2009, the initiative was filed with the Federal Chancellery, which declared it valid on February 17 5 .

Discussions and recommendations of the authorities

While the Federal Council 3 recommends the rejection of this initiative, parliament 2 did not give any recommendation for a vote. In its message to the Federal Chambers, the Federal Council highlights its opposition to the Basel law on the subject and reiterates “that it was not necessary to introduce a new fiscal instrument to promote home ownership of housing ” . It also notes that it is mainly high-income earners who can benefit from home-ownership savings, because of the progressive nature of income tax. He even concludes that,”From an economic point of view, promoting homeownership through tax breaks has negative effects on economic growth and prosperity” .

The voting recommendations of the government political parties were as follows : 6

Political party Recommendation
Democratic-bourgeois party freedom of vote NB 3
Christian Social Party no
Christian Democrat Party no NB 4
Socialist Party no
Green Liberal Party of Switzerland no
Liberal-Radicals yes NB 5
Democratic Union of the Center Yes
The Greens no


Submitted to the vote on 18 June 2012, the initiative is rejected by all 20 6/2 NB 2 cantons and by 68.9% of the votes cast 7 . The table below details the results by canton for this vote 7 :

Notes and references


  1. ↑ According to Article 139 of the Constitution  [ archive ] , an initiative proposed in the form of a drafted draft must be accepted by both the majority of the people and the majority of the cantons. In the case of an initiative drafted in general terms, only the vote of the people is necessary.
  2. ↑ a and b The first figure indicates the number of cantons, the second the number of cantons counting for half. For example, 19 6/2 reads “19 cantons and 6 cantons counting for half”.
  3. ↑ The cantonal sections of Berne and Solothurn of the PBD have pronounced against the initiative.
  4. ↑ The cantonal sections of Basel-Country, Geneva and Graubünden PDC spoke in favor of the initiative, while the Wallis left the freedom to vote.
  5. ↑ The cantonal sections of Thurgau and Uri spoke in disfavor of the initiative.

References and sources

  1. ↑ ” Text of the Federal People’s Initiative ”  [ archive ] , on Federal Chancellery (accessed June 18, 2012 )
  2. ↑ a and b [PDF] Federal Chancellery, Popular vote of 17 June 2012 – Explanations of the Federal Council , ( read online  [ archive ] ) , p.  5
  3. ↑ a and b Message from the Federal Council  [ archive ] (18 September 2009) of the Federal Gazette reference FF 2009 6313
  4. ↑ ” Vote No. 556 – Interim Official Final Results ”  [ archive ] , on Federal Chancellery (accessed March 12, 2012 )
  5. ↑ ” Federal People’s Initiative ‘Accessing Property Through Home Savings’ ”  [ archive ] (accessed June 18, 2012 )
  6. ↑ Voting instructions of parties currently represented in parliament and organizations  [ archive ]
  7. ↑ a and b Vote No. 560 – Interim Official Final Results ”  [ archive ] , on Federal Chancellery (accessed June 18, 2012 )

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