• Sweden edition
 

Jobs in focus during party leader debate

Published: 16 Jun 2010 17:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Jun 2010 17:53 GMT+02:00

The tone between the blocs looks set to remain tough ahead of the autumn parliamentary election. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt emphasised the government's commitment to full employment when he opened the debate.

"Everyone should have a job that matches their abilities," he said.

He pointed out that the Alliance coalition promised 1,000 kronor ($127.88) more per month in Swedish wallets during the last election campaign.

"It turned out to be much more than that - 1,600 to 1,700 kronor for a metalworker or a miner," said Reinfeldt.

He put the government's employment pledges up against the red-green coalition's stance on benefits.

"This will be the battle for the autumn election," he said.

Reinfeldt also stressed that the core of welfare services should be safeguarded, as well as the quality of welfare. In addition, he talked about the importance of an economy in balance.

In response, Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin accused Reinfeldt of not doing enough to combat young unemployment. She stated that only one in 20 unemployed youth who end up in the government's job guarantee programme receive training, while one in three has no high school diploma.

Meanwhile, Left Party leader Lars Ohly accused Reinfeldt of pursuing policies that are pulling Sweden apart.

"You claim to have a policy for jobs, but there is 10 percent unemployment," he said.

In turn, Reinfeldt attacked Sahlin and accused her of wanting to raise taxes for low-paid women who work in health care, care services and education.

"It is a tax attack on women," he said.

Green Party spokesperson Maria Wetterstrand pointed out that only South Korea, Turkey and Poland have worse unemployment insurance funds than Sweden.

Reinfeldt then criticised the red-green proposal to switch tax levels for lower unemployment insurance fees. According to government calculations, it would lead to 1.8 million members paying higher taxes, many of them in typically female occupations.

Sahlin answered that that the government's unemployment insurance reforms resulted in a hotel cleaner paying five times the membership fee compared to a doctor and that the reforms ruined the solidarity of the unemployment insurance fund.

This incensed Reinfeldt.

"You would take money from women and use it to raise unemployment insurance for men who do not work. That is your solidarity," he replied.

Sahlin countered that there are those with genuinely high incomes who have received large tax cuts under Reinfeldt's government.

Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson got into a heated exchange with the red-green leaders after Reinfeldt's statements, in which she argued that much had been achieved over the past four years despite it having been a tough time and that much remains to be done.

"I thought that the Centre Party would be a sensible doorkeeper for the environment in the government," said Wetterstrand, who said she was deeply disappointed in Olofsson and the Centre Party for everything from the wolf hunt and its decisions on fertiliser taxes and biodiversity.

Olofsson responded by saying that the Green Party would not dare stand up for its own policies and the impact they would have on Swedish society if they were carried out.

"You have not showed enough of how you are taking care of your own climate goals," she said to Wetterstrand. "You would not risk facing the voters with what is required. It is a cowardly policy."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

20:10 June 16, 2010 by Markus D
It was a great debate!

The two blocs are as far apart as ever which will help make the choice very clear for most Swedes.

Wetterstrand´s arguments were typically crazy, Ohly was his usual self and poor old Mona got more than she bargained for!

Sweden is on it´s way to a new prosperity - it´s finding it´s true greatness again where people want to work, improve society and stand up for right values.

I hope the Allians get a big majority in September so they can continue the reforms that are needed yet.
12:02 June 20, 2010 by Uggla
People seem to forget about the ever growing unemployment rate in this country. At this moment it's the highest it has ever been. And not all these people getting help are free loaders. Many of them have worked in Sweden for many many years as nurses, doctors, educators and now have no where to turn to get a job due to these "cut backs" and I have many friends who have been hit hard by this worry where their next meal will come. People who have always had a silver spoon in their mouths really do not understand what it is like for others to struggle. So it's easy for them to accuse others of being "free loaders" when they do not truly know what its like. I vote lets fix the "cut back " situation before wasting money showing off to the world.
00:26 June 23, 2010 by USA Is Number 1
Is unemployment in Sweden higher today than it was in some years in the 1930s?
Today's headlines
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Photo: TT

Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains

Torrential rains in western Sweden have left some towns submersed as water levels have risen to 1.5 metres above normal for the season with forecasts indicating that is worse to come. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

977
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN