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Opposition touts state authorities' merger savings

Published: 03 Oct 2009 11:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Oct 2009 11:56 GMT+02:00

Sweden’s opposition parties want to merge a number of state authorities in a restructuring move they say will save one billion kronor.

Ahead of the release of their autumn budget, economic spokespeople from the Social Democrats, Greens and Left Party explain their proposal in a debate article in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

”To get more out of every crown in tax, we want to merge authorities step-by-step and shut down those whose tasks can be taken over by others,” they write.

Thomas Östros (S), Mikaela Valstersson (G) och Ulla Andersson (L) suggest merging Sweden’s 21 national and regional police authorities to make for a more effective organisation.

In addition, they propose the National Board of Forensic Medicine and the National Laboratory of Forensic Science should join forces.

The plan also includes axing a number of authorities including the Swedish Commission for Government Support to Faith Communities, the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies and the Swedish National Alcoholic Beverages Product Range Board.

Furthermore, they call for increased transparency when it comes to spending and want open comparisons to encourage better decisions when it comes to administration and property.

”We also need to create incentives to make better use of state-owned office and better coordinate purchases," they add.

With such measures, it is suggested that 500 million kronor could be saved by next year. By 2012 they believe that figure could be one billion Swedish crowns.

The debate article concludes that the savings should be ploughed into other areas of need.

”The programme to make state authorities more effective is a part of a common policy that puts jobs, welfare and the environment first,” they say.

Christine Demsteader (christine.demsteader@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

02:52 October 5, 2009 by Kennethmac2000
Why not scrap the absolutely ridiculous nummber of kommuner and merge their functions into the landsting?

In Scotland where I come from, we have 32 local authorities for a population of around 5 million (and many people think even this number is too many). Sweden has over 300 local authorities for a population of just over 9 million.

Why are the Social Democrats not proposing to scrap/merge most of those? Perhaps because they are mostly staffed by their supporters?
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