• 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

Israel's ambassador recalled from Sweden

Israel called home its ambassador from Stockholm "in irritation" on the same day that Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

National
Malmö loses out as rare toads move in
The European green toad. Photo: H. Krisp (WikiCommons)

Malmö loses out as rare toads move in

After a rare species of toad moved into southern Sweden's Malmö, builders have had to tone down massive expansion plans in the area. READ  

Politics
Palestine recognized as state by Sweden
Sweden's Foreign Minister is Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Palestine recognized as state by Sweden

The Swedish government has officially decided to recognize Palestine, with the move announced in a speech by the country's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. READ  

Interview
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
For ten days, Globen is transformed into a giant pumpkin. Photo: Shockholm

Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween

American Bill Schacht missed the spooky outfits, family feasts and charity events he associated with Halloween when he moved to Sweden. So he did something about it. The Local meets the founder of the capital's annual Shockholm parade. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Blog updates

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 

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 »

 
 
 
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
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
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
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
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
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
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

970
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