The Swiss government has been known historically for maintaining a relatively high degree of austerity in comparison to its European neighbors. In 1991, the federal government incurred a budget deficit of over SwFr 1.5 billion, the first budget discrepancy in seven years. Cantonal budgets also were in deficit. These deficits continued throughout the 1990s, prompting governments at all levels to take further cost-cutting steps. As an international creditor, debt management policies are not relevant to Switzerland, which participates in the Paris Club debt reschedulings and is an active member of the OECD.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2001 Switzerland's central government took in revenues of approximately $30 billion and had expenditures of $30 billion.
The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government revenues and expenditures. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.
|REVENUE AND GRANTS||100.0%||30,000|
|General public services||4.2%||1,259|
|Public order and safety||0.5%||151|
|Housing and community amenities||0.7%||200|
|Recreation, cultural, and religious affairs||0.4%||123|
|Economic affairs and services||10.3%||3,093|