The high social welfare costs caused by foreigners keep provoking outrage in Switzerland. Including people with an asylum background, a total of 8.8 percent of all third-country nationals depended on the support of social assistance in 2016. For comparison: The social welfare risk of the Swiss totaled 2.3 percent in 2016.
The Federal Council now wants to restrict access to the social assistance safety net. He wants to implement the following measures directly:
- The Federal Statistical Office should regularly report how many foreigners receive social assistance.
- The extension of residence permits for people who cause significant social assistance costs requires the approval of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
- Minister of Justice Karin Keller-Sutter will also develop recommendations so that in future all cantons will use a uniform term for social assistance costs in the area of foreigners.
Other measures require an amendment to the law. Keller-Sutter will work on this within a year. The following measures are involved:
- The integration requirements for issuing residence permits to temporarily admitted persons in hardship cases are to be specified.
- Even those who have a C permit (settlement permit) should be able to lose it more quickly if they receive social assistance.
- The right to social assistance is to be restricted in the first three years in Switzerland.
However, all of these measures should only apply to third-country nationals – that is, not to EU foreigners. This prohibits the free movement of people.
The tightening of the Council of States demanded. He instructed the Federal Council to examine the legal options available so that the federal government can restrict or exclude social assistance for foreigners from third countries. (Sf)