Federal Court ruling on Serafe levy is appealed further

The Federal Court has ruled that the radio and TV levy charged per household does not discriminate against singles. The complainant is now taking the ruling to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Complainant Alex Bauert confirmed on Sunday on request of the news agency Keystone-SDA a corresponding report of the Sunday newspaper and of the Nebelspalter. He dragged the judgment on because he was being discriminated against in an unacceptable way as a single person in the radio and television fee. He does not want to pay the same as couples, families or flat-sharing communities.

Bauert believes that his chances in Strasbourg are not bad. The Federal Court did not deny discrimination, but decided that it was objectively justified to collect the levy per household for the sake of simplicity. In Bauert's opinion, the small additional expense involved in invoicing does not justify this discrimination. Serafe receives the information on the composition of the household on a monthly basis.

The Serafe fee of 365 francs - or 335 francs since January 1, 2021 - must be paid per household, regardless of the number of people living there, regardless of the number of adults.

"Flimsy arguments"

Bauert criticizes that single households are thus subsidizing multi-person households. He had unsuccessfully appealed against an order by Serafe, the radio and television tax collection agency, to pay the radio and television taxes. The Federal Office of Communications and subsequently also the Federal Administrative Court rejected his request.

Sylvia Locher, President of Pro Single Switzerland, also expressed her disappointment with the Federal Court's decision to the Keystone-SDA news agency. She said the Federal Supreme Court had argued in a very sophistical way and "brought out flimsy arguments". "Singles do not experience justice with it". Around 1.3 million single-person households in Switzerland would have to pay the full Serafe contribution, he said, which is a cross-subsidization that is not legal.

According to the Federal Court, discrimination against singles is not evident. The levy is not linked to the status of being single. A person living in a relationship can also live in a single-person household, the federal court noted. Conversely, there are also people who are not in a relationship but live in a multi-person household. Also, the annual amount of the household tax was not disproportionately high. (SDA)

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