• Sweden edition
 
Sweden's growing wealth gap 'troubling': Borg

Sweden's growing wealth gap 'troubling': Borg

Published: 29 Dec 2011 11:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Dec 2011 11:32 GMT+01:00

Figures showing that income differences are on the rise in Sweden, with most household wallets growing fatter, as those with lowest income fall behind, are 'troubling', according to minister of finance Anders Borg.

Nearly everyone in Sweden has seen their incomes rise in the last five years.

However, those included in the ten percent of the population earning the least have seen their incomes fall by 5.5 percent, or 350 kronor ($50) per month after tax, according to figures from Statistics Sweden.

In the same time, incomes for the ten percent of the Swedish population earning the most have risen by 7,300 kronor, or roughly 23 percent.

According to the statistics, the higher income a someone had in 2005, the greater percentage increase in income they experienced in the last five years.

Figures indicating that Sweden's rich are getting richer while the country's least well-off earn less don't sit well with finance minister Anders Borg.

"We ought to have a country that sticks together, and it's naturally troubling to see indications of the opposite," he told news agency TT.

Borg suggested potential changes in government spending he envisions may help put a stop to the trend.

Increased subsidies for pensioners and families with young children, as well as loosening the strict rules for receiving welfare, are some possible changes he suggested.

However, the growing income differences should be no surprise to Borg, or the centre-right government, as their own budget proposal for 2010 included the prediction that lowering income taxes would lead to growing income gaps.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

Your comments about this article

12:00 December 29, 2011 by Roy E
To what extent has the government imported this situation?
12:13 December 29, 2011 by isenhand
'troubling' but predicable, along with the increase in social problems we see as well as more problems yet to come. Things should get much worse if Sweden continues on its current path. This comes from the research done within sociology; the relationship between the wealth gap and social problems does come out as quite a strong connection.
13:23 December 29, 2011 by procrustes
Lemme seee, here: if I earn 10,000 then I pay the government 3,000. If my income increases to 20,000 then I pay the government 6,000. What is the government doing with ITS increase?

This stinks of conditioning us for higher taxes.
15:13 December 29, 2011 by Dazzler
"Increased subsidies for pensioners and families with young children, as well as loosening the strict rules for receiving welfare, are some possible changes he suggested."

Let the mass migration begin!
17:48 December 29, 2011 by Rey Stockholm
Pensioners getting extra is fair enough as they have contributed.

Current policy of extra payments to the workshy or masses of immigrants is not sustainable . À country of à few million people Can not go on giving out hand handouts

Welfare has got to be last resort to get people to work and contribute to the system
19:23 December 29, 2011 by just a question
So everything is working according to the plan, no surprises. Privatisation of basic services+mass migration+shitty jobs+housing bubble+educative bubble and unpaind education loans =poverty
19:41 December 29, 2011 by viennacalling
its basically the same in all western society , poor man he should not fret about it, the rich are getting richer and the poor are paying for it, welcome to the real world

if he really wants an answer take a look at argentina !
20:07 December 29, 2011 by johan rebel
So the least well-off earn less? How many of them actually earn a living by working for it, huh?
00:32 December 30, 2011 by glamelixir
@Just a question: SPOT ON.

I mean, if this is coming to him as a surprise well... he should revise which party he is representing. As far as I know that is what happens when you apply the kind of economical policies they are preaching.

@Viennacalling: What exactly do you mean by take a look at Argentina? Please develop your argument. So far I can think of at least two different interpretations and they come quite contridictive to each other. So I would like you to develop your thoughts further.
01:32 December 30, 2011 by Larry Thrash
So the answer is to subsidize poverty by confiscated money from those who earn it and give it to those who don't? How about cutting punitive taxes like the VAT that punishes everyone, so people can keep more of their income. Then people wouldn't be so dependent on government resources, but that is the goal of socialism to make people more dependent.
05:22 December 30, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Hello Mr. Borg,

Here is a little economics 101 for you. Wages rise and fall based on the supply of labor and the demand for that labor. Importing lots of cheap unqualified labor does not increase the wages for workers who have to compete in that labor pool. Which part is more troubling? The low wages, or the difficultly in accepting that the laws of economics are as certain as the laws of physics?
09:22 December 30, 2011 by heyheyhey
@marc the Texan......

Here is a bit of truth for you.

Wages rise and fall based upon the greed of the pig b@stards that own corporations today. These pig b@ stards have purchased the political process, I its entirety, in your country. I will assume that you are one of the pigs who turn your nose at the stench from those whom toil for you. You are disgusting!
14:33 December 30, 2011 by Larry Thrash
Marc the Texan you are correct, the natural laws of Economics are the same as in physics. Heyheyhey, Texas has become the economic powerhouse that is lifting the the standard of living of all that live here. Just ask the Swedes that live here.
20:51 December 31, 2011 by Grokh
i know how to solve unemployment and increase production that would end the world economic crisis.

make everyone who is not a millionaire a slave.

-_-x
11:23 January 5, 2012 by shahislam
Price Hike? Non-sense propaganda by oil dealers! Sanctions on Iranian heads and a few more heads of oil producing lands and then closed Western eyes will make fuel price drop dramatically. There will be no shortage of crude ever on Earth under sun, so let them produce, supply and sell whatever amount they want. And watch how world economy gets better
Today's headlines
National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

National
Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions
A Gripen plane was scrambled to see off the Russian planes. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions

UPDATED: Sweden has summoned the Russian Ambassador for a dressing down after two Russian planes violated Swedish airspace last week. READ  

Elections 2014
'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

UPDATED: Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven says he is positive that his party can co-operate with the former governing Alliance on some issues. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
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

866
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