• Sweden edition
 

Opposition leaders united on tax cuts

Published: 01 Sep 2005 11:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Sep 2005 11:22 GMT+02:00

The conservative opposition parties have come to an "historic agreement" over reforms to the Swedish taxation system.

Buoyed with confidence following a two-day meeting in Bankeryd, the leaders of the four parties announced plans to invest at least 45 billion kronor in cuts in income tax.

The ceiling for sickness pay will not be reduced, but savings will come from unemployment benefit and road insurance.

Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund said that the value of the meeting between the leaders could not be underestimated.

"Never before have our four parties in opposition been so united on something as big and as important as this," he said.

The leader of the Moderate Party, Fredrik Reinfeldt, declared that there is no longer a question mark over whether the conservative alliance was ready for power.

Specifically, the agreement means that a conservative government - assuming, of course, that they pull off a victory in the September 2006 election - will initiate a 37 billion kronor cut in income tax by the end of 2007, and then a further cut of 8 billion kronor over the following two years.

The precise details of the cut are not yet clear but an employee earning the average wage could expect around 700 kronor extra in their pocket each month.

According to the alliance, the first stage of the reform is completely financed. Nevertheless, the leader of the Liberals (Folkpartiet), Lars Leijonborg, put his foot down when it came to a lowering of the ceiling for sickness benefit.

"We won't associate ourselves with increased insecurity," he said.

But the conservative alliance still plans to drive through other savings, totalling around 15 billion kronor, in sickness benefit. Traffic injuries will be paid for through road insurance and the basis for calculating sick pay will be changed.

The income tax cuts will also be financed through savings in the pensions paid to those who take early retirement.

Unemployment pay will fall after 200 days to 70% of the previous salary and the top payment will be 680 kronor per day. After 300 days a basic rate of 320 kronor per day will be paid. Contributions to the unemployment fund (a-kassa) will be compulsory and the charge will be raised to a maximum of 300 kronor per month.

"The motivation for working is going to be a lot clearer. There's going to be more left over when you work," said Reinfeldt.

The alliance also reached agreement on a tax package for employers, with the most significant change being a reduction in the employer's contribution for small firms taking on new staff.

"The business package is fantastic for all small companies in Sweden, but also for people who don't have a job," said Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson.

The proposals brought an immediate, and not unexpected, attack from Prime Minister Göran Persson, who said that the sick and the unemployed would pay for the cuts.

"I'm surprised that the Liberals are going along with this," he said to TT.

Finance Minister Pär Nuder was equally sceptical:

"The point of this is to push down salaries. The unemployed will be forced to take any old jobs and this will hit those who are weakest."

TT/The Local

Discuss this article

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Swedish government promises cash to combat Russia threat

Swedish government promises cash to combat Russia threat

Sweden's government has pledged to invest an extra 1.3 billion kronor in the military as Russia ramps up its activities in the Baltic Sea area. READ  

Two terror plots stopped in Sweden
Swedish Security Service Headquarters in Stockholm Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Two terror plots stopped in Sweden

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) says it has stopped two terror attacks being planned by violent Islamist extremists living inside the country. READ  

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
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

756
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