• Sweden edition
 

Ministers flout Riksdag housing rules

Published: 26 Apr 2011 16:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Apr 2011 16:53 GMT+02:00

Several Swedish government ministers continue to violate Riksdag housing rules by refusing to give up temporary accommodations normally reserved for MPs, according to an investigation carried out by Swedish newspaper Metro

Unlike regular MPs, who are assigned overnight flats, members of the Swedish government are supposed to make their own living arrangements in Stockholm.

But Metro found that three government ministers still occupy the studios they were assigned as members of the Riksdag.

In addition, one lives in student apartment and another refused to say how he has solved his housing problem.

Although most government ministers today are bona fide Stockholm residents, there are still those that choose to reside outside of the capital.

About a fourth of these ministers have invested in an overnight flat in the city.

According to Metro, the rest are wrestling with an ongoing housing problem.

However, three have solved their housing challenge by choosing not to give up their Riksdag assigned studio flats, despite rules stipulating they no longer have the right to live in such flats.

Stefan Attefall, minister for public administration and housing, Göran Hägglund, minister for health and social affairs, and Eskil Erlandsson, minister for rural affairs, are all occupying overnight flats meant for Riksdag MPs.

Ulf Kristersson, minister for social security, did not want to tell Metro any particulars about his living arrangements, he announced through his press secretary.

Swedish finance minister Anders Borg admitted as early as 2009 that he was living in a flat meant for students or staff from the Swedish Military Academy (Försvarshögskolan).

On the Swedish talk show ‘Skavlan’ he revealed that he was ‘renting a student flat from a student foundation’.

“If the foundation has flats that aren’t needed for students, they can rent them out to other state employees. That is how Anders got his flat. He is not in competition with students in need of accommodation, “ Borg’s press secretary Markus Sjöqvist told daily Dagens Nyheter at the time.

Sjöqvist reiterated this statement to Metro in 2011.

Political scientist Stig-Björn Ljunggren is surprised that several ministers chose to flout the rules.

“If government ministers can’t set a good example on the housing market, they can’t ask the public to abide rules either,” he told Metro.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:11 April 26, 2011 by Muff
I wish I could do the same.. :
19:24 April 26, 2011 by StockholmSam
Party at Borg's house!
08:05 April 27, 2011 by KHal
This is ridiculous, and proof of how difficult it is to find a flat in this city. The obvious lack of accommodation, as anyone living in Stockholm is well aware of, demonstrated by the fact these guys are still in government flats, coupled with the black market rentals/criminal landlords, shows there needs to be some kind of reform.
08:31 April 27, 2011 by engagebrain
If there was a will the black market could be dealt with easily - check on who is living in each flat plus a check on people claiming more than one residence - this would prevent black contracts including a claim by the original tenant to still live there

Throw in a reward, say 3 months free rent, and give the second tier renter a reason for turning in black rentals and the game would be over.

Why does a country that is generally not corrupt, permit such corruption - black renters include the rental income in their tax declaration ? The losers are the second tier renters who pay higher rents and lack proper contracts - the winners are those who cheat, exploit and by their actions create a false market.

Why is nothing done about ministers who cheat ?
09:14 April 27, 2011 by Nemesis
@ engagebrain ,

You say that Sweden is generally not corrupt.

Just dig through the thick veneer of nicities and I can assure you that you will find a rotten core.
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