20 May 2020 – Policy Brief

How to repay the government debt resulting from the COVID-19 crisis?

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Executive summary

The COVID-19 crisis generates extraordinary expenditures for the federal government, particularly due to the sizable cost of supporting workers’ incomes. As a consequence, Switzerland will have a higher level of government debt after the conclusion of the crisis. While the foreseeable level of debt does not threaten the stability of the Swiss economy, the debt-break mechanism detailed in Swiss law requires that the debt is eventually paid down. This policy brief discusses options for debt repayment, and advocates repayment over a longer time period than the six years stipulated by the law.

Date of request:
Date of response: 20/5/2020

In response to request from: 

Comment on planned updates:

Expert groups and individuals involved: Economics

Contact persons: David Dorn (david.dorn@econ.uzh.ch)

As the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force has been disbanded as of 31 March 2022, no further epidemiological assessments, scientific updates or policy briefs will be published in the future. All previous publications, pages and information of the Science Task Force remain available on this website.