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UPDATE 1-Swiss see 2022 federal budget returning to balance

(Adds projections for future years, background)

ZURICH, June 30 (Reuters) - Switzerland released a 2022 federal budget on Wednesday that sees a structural surplus of 0.6 billion Swiss francs ($649 million), helped by higher payouts from the Swiss central bank and despite 1.2 billion francs in spending linked to the pandemic.

Its financial plan foresaw a structural surplus of 0.4 billion francs in 2023, a deficit of 0.1 billion in 2024 and a surplus of 0.1 billion in 2025.

“After two years of the budget being impacted by high COVID-19 expenditure, there are signs of a return to normal also in terms of fiscal policy,” it said after a cabinet meeting.

The government said it expected to ask parliament later this year for further expenditure to help the tourism, health, transport sectors deal with the aftermath of COVID-19 as part of a supplementary budget notification.

In February it had said it would seek a balanced federal budget in the years ahead after running a record deficit in 2021 as it pumps money into the pandemic-hit economy.

Finance Minister Ueli Maurer told a newspaper Switzerland’s coronavirus relief debt was likely to be about 25 billion Swiss francs, which he planned to repay over years without having to increase taxes or resort to painful spending cuts. ($1 = 0.9241 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Alison Williams)

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