«State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work Summary Mirjam von Felten This study examines the question of whether cuts in public ...»
Another variant is not listed among these options because it is economically unrealistic: by replacing unpaid work performed in the home with institutionalised volunteer work (such as a children’s lunch service). This is too small an area to play any significant role in compensating for household and family chores. Moreover, since it is primarily women who are responsible for caring in this area, there would be no genuine relief, or else the burden of unpaid work would be shifted to other women.
State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 116 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland If, for example, public care-giving services were shifted to partly-subsidised volunteer projects in order to cut public spending, this would have the problematic result of burdening women with even more unpaid work. Moreover, when it comes to cutting healthcare and social welfare costs, it is usually women’s jobs that are shed since women account for a disproportionately large percentage of jobs in such areas.
If women are to be relieved of their workload to any significant extent, a great deal needs to be changed. Recent developments and experiences acquired in other countries show that virtually all the above-mentioned options play a role in reducing the amount of unpaid work performed by women. However, ensuring the right mix of these options is of paramount economic importance for the future of society and for social stability. This depends not least on the policy pursued by the state and hence on its budget policy. It is therefore important to take these general economic aspects into account when conducting future budget analyses.
Standard calculations of the dimensions of unpaid and paid work can be repeated every three years, and changes in the economic structure can be identified which are key to a forward-looking gender equality and welfare policy. As with the analysis in Part 1, this can be done by using the questionnaire module on unpaid labour of the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS), which has been conducted every three years since 1997.
An analysis of the dimensions can be used to identify more accurately the relevant items of public expenditure, as well as the population groups who perform unpaid labour, derive particular benefits from public expenditure, or are affected by cutbacks in public spending. Not only the burden of unpaid labour but also the type of unpaid labour is distributed very unevenly among various population groups. A more accurate understanding of the way Basel-Stadt residents use their time and money is one of the prerequisites for enabling an analysis of the impact of public expenditure on unpaid labour.
The effects of changes in public expenditure in the 1990s on unpaid labour in the canton of Basel-Stadt Andrea Pfeifer In the last century the state gradually took on more family-related tasks, leaving women freer to take up gainful employment. Against this backdrop the question arises as to whether measures to reduce public spending in the 1990s resulted in a reversal of the trend and shifted tasks which were formerly performed by the state back to the private sector. Unpaid labour is still largely performed by women (see Part 1). Hence a reverse shift in the direction of care-giving work would result in women taking on these tasks and, in the process, becoming more tied to the home, increasing their workload or devoting their free time to such tasks as they get older.
Changes in cantonal expenditure with knock-on costs for unpaidlabour, 1990 to 2000
The following section applies the method developed by BASS in its “Saving on women” study to examine the development of the canton of Basel-Stadt’s expenditure between 1990 and 2000 in areas which, if subjected to cutbacks, would entail consequences for female unpaid labour. In other words, it examines areas of expenditure with knock-on costs for unpaid labour. The term “knock-on costs” is appropriate since unpaid labour constitutes an economic factor and, as such, its monetary value can be estimated (see Part 1). The implicit assumption is that a reduction in public spending leads to additional costs in the private sector. Using the functional breakdown used by the Federal Finance Administration, a group of experts defined the areas of public spending that entail knock-on costs for unpaid labour (Bauer/Baumann 1996:81). This definition has been used here and covers areas of expenditure which are relevant to the care of children and young people as well as older persons and adults in need of care, i.e. tasks in the fields of education, culture and leisure, healthcare and social welfare. This covers not only costs of care personnel but also, for example, expenditure on the maintenance of parks and green zones or library services. Parents can save time thanks to such services, and children can occupy themselves in parks or libraries.
State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 118 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland Table 1 Functional sectors with knock-on costs for unpaid labour
The problem with this definition of areas of expenditure with knock-on costs is that the functional breakdown is not sufficiently detailed. A functional area can include expenditure for which a correlation with unpaid labour is highly probable and plausible, as well as expenditure which, if curtailed, has no impact on unpaid labour. Moreover, the directness and extent of the impact of expenditure items with a high probability of knock-on costs is also a factor.
Nevertheless, it can be assumed that the volume of unpaid labour performed by women increases when savings are made on items of expenditure which are relevant for unpaid labour (Bauer/Baumann 1996:82). In addition, the principle of constancy in state budgeting and accounting enables a meaningful statement to be made on the basis of rates of change – even if the original valuation or assessment proves to be incorrect. The principle requires that evaluations – and hence assessments – always be made on the same basis (Boemle 1996:102ff.). This requirement is met here since the functional breakdown enables a historical comparison of expenditure, and a single functional area remaining constant throughout the study period is classified as relevant or irrelevant for unpaid labour.
The expenditure of the canton of Basel-Stadt between 1990 and 2000, organised according to function by the Federal Finance Department, served as a foundation for the following analysis. Of the total cantonal expenditure of CHF 3.7 billion in 2000, CHF 1.1 billion is defined as relevant for determining the volume of unpaid labour performed by residents. Figure 1 shows that public expenditure with and without knock-on costs increased at similar rates up to 1997. From 1997, public expenditure with knock-on costs for unpaid labour declined sharply, from 136% of public expenditure in 1990 to 122% in 2000. Yet over the same period, public expenditure without knock-on costs underwent another sharp rise (from 139% to 155%).
State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 119 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland This therefore suggests that in the second half of the 1990s, care-giving and childcare were more likely to be performed by women as unpaid labour, or – put another way – that savings in this area were made at their expense. It also makes it clear why the BASS Study conducted in 1997 for Basel-Stadt came to the conclusion that “savings (were not) made on goods and services that result in more unpaid labour in the wake of cost-cutting measures” (Baumann 1997:10): The gap between the two types of expenditure began to widen only after 1997.
Fig. 1 Public expenditure in the canton of Basel-Stadt (1990 to 2000) with and without knock-on costs (Index 1990=100%)
Source: Public income and expenditure according to function (1990 – 2000), Federal Finance Administration.
This finding raises the question as to which expense factors are behind the decline in “public expenditure with knock-on costs for unpaid labour”, or which functional areas are primarily responsible for this decline. The results show that in 2000, healthcare accounted for by far the largest proportion of expenditure with knockon costs (67% or CHF 754 million). The CHF 643 spent on hospitals alone accounts for more than half (58%) of the expenditure with knock-on costs for unpaid work.
An additional 25% is spent on social welfare, 5% on education and 3% on culture.
The decline in expenditure with knock-on costs from 1997 was therefore primarily attributable to the trend in expenditure on healthcare (see Fig. 2), which gradually fell to 107% in 2000 after peaking in 1992 at 122%.
The following section analyses two sample sectors in detail: public expenditure on healthcare, and particularly hospitals, and on child day-care facilities. The selection was made in recognition of the impact of hospitals on the decline in public expenditure with knock-on costs; moreover, the aim is to examine the impact of both sectors on the two principal fields of unpaid labour, namely care-giving and looking after adults in need of care, and childcare.
State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 120 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland This approach suggests itself for two reasons: Firstly, as already mentioned, the functional breakdown of the budget accounts is not sufficiently differentiated. A single sector can contain expenditure with and without knock-on costs for unpaid labour. Secondly, the BASS Study contains no discussion and arguments by the group of experts as to how exactly a decline in cantonal expenditure correlates to an increased volume of unpaid labour. It is therefore necessary to identify the relationship between expenditure and unpaid labour. This approach addresses the BASS Study’s call for “a differentiated analysis of individual items of expenditure” (Baumann 1997:10).
Fig. 2 Public expenditure with knock-on costs in the canton of Basel-Stadt (1990 to 2000) (Index 1990=100%)
Source: Public income and expenditure according to function (1990 – 2000), Federal Finance Administration.
Example 1: Public expenditure on hospitals Expenditure trend Of public expenditure on healthcare, which in the opinion of experts is key to determining the volume of unpaid labour performed by residents of Basel-Stadt on caring for and looking after relatives or acquaintances, spending on hospitals and psychiatric clinics in particular grew at an above-average rate between 1990 and 2000. In 2000 expenditure on hospitals was 108% of the amount spent in
1990. By comparison, total expenditure on health in 2000 was 143% of spending in 1990. Spending on hospitals and psychiatric clinics increased from CHF 600 million in 1990 to CHF 720 million in 1992, remaining roughly at this level until 1997 and dropping again from CHF 730 million to CHF 640 million between 1998 and 2000 (see Fig. 4). In contrast to hospitals and psychiatric clinics, cantonal spending on outpatient care rose by almost 50% by 2000 to reach 147% of the 1990 amount.
State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 121 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland This is shown on Figure 3, which clearly illustrates the shift in healthcare policy from inpatient to outpatient care. The reduction in inpatient care was partially offset by the Spitex (home-based care) service. Cantonal expenditure on healthcare dropped not only in Basel-Stadt but across Switzerland from the mid-1990s. At the same time there was an increase in insurance premium contributions,10 signalling a shift in healthcare expenditure from the canton to its residents, and hence from the pubic to the private sector. Irrespective of cantonal contributions, expenditure on healthcare rose from the mid-1990s by 2.0% to 4.8% per year (Federal Statistical Office 2002:6).
Fig. 3 Canton of Basel-Stadt public expenditure with knock-on costs in the Health sector (1990 to 2000) (Index 1990= 100%) 2 11