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commission on fiscal imbalance 合集

Education table 5 is a good example of the

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Unformatted text preview: eement on the concept of “subsidiarity”. The key questions are not semantic, but start with a) b) c) the definition and measurement of “efficiency”, who decides when the provision of a local (decentralised) public service is no longer “efficient” and at which level the responsibility should be “centralised” ? Opinions also diverge about which "efficiency" criteria are appropriate for the organisation (and the reorganisation) of 8 functions within the three layers of government. Economies of scale, homogeneity of preferences, spillovers and congestion costs, are generally accepted as efficiency criteria (DAFFLON, 1992). Poorer governments which argue that they ought to receive more equalisation payments dispute the criteria of financial capacity and budgetary resources. WISEMAN (1989) argued that efficiency criteria must be related to the capability of strengthening political checks and balance through appropriate procedures and not to the tax-and-expenditures outcomes as such. This is probably the closest theoretical argument for Switzerland. The resulting allocation of expenditure functions and of policy-making within the communes, the Cantons and the Confederation does not obey simple rules that ensure neatness, tidiness and smoothness. Instead, an elaborate system of compromises (call it "checks and balance") limits horizontal and vertical coercion, which has led to the budgets of the different levels of government becoming increasingly entangled. ♦ Education (table 5) is a good example of the subsidiarity principle. Total expenditures in table 4 show that the main responsibility lays at the cantonal level, with around 53 per cent of total public outlays, followed by the local level (35 %) and the Confederation (12 %). However, when various functions are distinguished “bottom-up” within education, the image stands out in contrast. Kindergartens and public schools are principally in local hands (with respectively 63 % and 56 %). For the public (primary and secondary) public schools, however, the communes have command mainly of the school buildings and the equipment. The teachers’ salaries are predominantly paid at the local level, but according to cantonal standards. The Cantons also decide almost exclusively the teachers’ qualification, and the schools’ programmes (for the latter, sometimes in co-ordination with other cantons within the Conference of the Cantonal Ministers of Education – see section 2.4. on co-operative federalism). Special schools are in some cantons local, cantonal in other. Professional, teachers’ school, colleges and technical schools are predominantly if not exclusively placed at the cantonal level. The federal government does not intervene very much. Except for the Federal Polytechnics, the Universities are cantonal, but they are partly financed by all the cantons through horizontal transfers per student, according to their residence, and 9 through federal grants-in-aids. The subsidiarity principle implicitly carries with it the acceptance of asymmetry in the provision of public services. But it is difficult to assert whether this couple "subsidiarity -asymmetry" is a formidable tool to recognise diversity, whether diffe...
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