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Sweden drifting from 'Swedish model': report

Sweden drifting from 'Swedish model': report

Published: 21 May 2012 10:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 May 2012 10:11 GMT+02:00

Sweden's historically generous social safety net isn't as robust as it once was, according to a new report, which reveals Sweden has fallen below the average for many other developed countries when it comes to various types of social insurance.

In 2005, Sweden had the second most generous unemployment insurance scheme in the world, but according to a new report the income replacement benefits for out of work Swedes ranks below the OECD average.

And for the first time since 1952, the duration of Sweden's sickness insurance benefits, 52 weeks, is below the OECD average.

The report, commissioned through a parliamentary inquiry into Sweden's social insurance system, indicates that while the most drastic decline in Sweden's welfare system has occurred in the country's unemployment insurance schemes, other welfare benefits are also less generous than in the past when compared to other developed countries the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

Joakim Palme, an author of the report, told the paper that Sweden was in the process of abandoning the famed "Swedish model", marked by generous social insurance benefits for all citizens.

“The Swedish model was built on the idea that the majority of the population gets something for their tax money. We have come to a breaking point when not even the average Swede gets adequate income protection from general social insurance schemes,” he told SvD.

“It’s not just the high income earners who are dependent on supplementary health insurance.”

In Sweden, an unemployed person receives 80 percent of their salary for the first 200 days of unemployment, and 70 percent thereafter.

But with a cap of 18,700 kronor ($2,623) a month in unemployment benefits, only 12 percent of the unemployed Swedes receive payments that match their allowable percentage of their previous salaries.

Other social security figures, such as health and work injury insurance levels, have also been overtaken by other developed countries.

When unemployment, sickness and work-related injury benefits are added up, the maximum level of compensation in 2010 was only half the relative level available in 1975.

Sickness benefits for a manufacturing worker in Sweden dropped by 5 percent from 2005 to 20100, according to the report, at the same time as the number of available days to claim such benefits also dropped.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:33 May 21, 2012 by NickJT
The low unemployment benefit cap is the one that sticks out the most and is probably the biggest reason for Sweden not having a flexible and more dynamic labour market. Many people who have been employed a long time by a company and enjoy the protection of last in, first out law are afraid to move to another company as they would loose this protection and be exposed to the risk involved in becoming unemployed here.

A friend of mine has moved to Switzerland. He's move jobs quite frequently and occasionally tried jobs where he was unsure if he'd like them or indeed manage to do them. However with Switzerland paying circa 75% of average of last 6 months salary (No cap in place) for up to 18 months if one should become unemployed he dare take the risk. That's how it should be here in Sweden.
11:53 May 21, 2012 by rtharper
I'm all for the welfare state, even with the accompanying high taxes. But if the taxes are high and the welfare state is shrinking, where is the money going?
12:22 May 21, 2012 by digitalamish
Sweden should be "drifting" from having "the high taxes model" then...
13:54 May 21, 2012 by Borilla
Notice the time period in question matches the Moderate rule. As for rtharper's question, many people should be asking themselves the same thing. Placing your parents in elder care is tantamount to the Inuit placing their elders on an ice floe and letting them drift away but much less compassionate. Calling an ambulance is a waste of time since, if you can speak, you don't need one.The taxes on individuals stay high and the services decrease. The tax money goes to the pigs of all political persuasions lined up at the trough. The next generation is here and they have no recollection or experience in being needy or even knowing anyone who is. They are purely professional politicians, most of whom have never worked a day in their life, other than feeding at the political trough and on the scraps thrown by their friends in business. The next time you vote take a look and see if you can find a working man on the ticket.
14:10 May 21, 2012 by notaswed
totally agree with you @Borilla, its a pure case of professional politics and appropriation of public funds using established routines.... why should taxes = revenue remain so high yet, the services and welfare associated keep dwindling?? these are questions that public heads should be answering... value for money in question...
14:19 May 21, 2012 by David S
"In Sweden, an unemployed person receives 80 percent of their salary for the first 200 days of unemployment, and 70 percent thereafter."

This is a myth. This only occurs *if* you are paying *extra* in to a *separate* unemployment insurance fund *on top of* your statutory taxes.

Increasingly many Swedes are not paying in to these funds (not to mention many immigrants who were unaware of the necessity), which means they are eligible only for around 6000kr/mth in assistance.

That's not even remotely 80% for virtually everyone.

It's an insurance state, not a welfare state.
15:28 May 21, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
I do not understand why there is people that are actually surprised about this?

Imbalanced systems are always going to come down sooner or later, that being said I am surprised it somewhat worked as long as it did.

At the end of the day 1+1 equals 2 and if you load yourself with more "spending" than "earning" you are for sure going to run into a wall sooner or later.

Sweden, just like the rest of Scandinavia will within 10 years be on the same "self responsibility" level as other countries are already today. With private insurances and employment pension funds etc. replacing "pappa staten".
15:37 May 21, 2012 by Svensksmith
Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money.
17:30 May 21, 2012 by riose
@Svensksmith

Capitalism is great, until you get sick.
17:32 May 21, 2012 by Takea chance onme
I am an American married to a Swede I used to live in Stockholm, Sweden with our three children.In September 2009 my husband's job as a Computer Programmer with H&M ended his job was sent to India.When he applied for his unemployment money he was turned down.He worked for over 35 years and paid more than 7000kr a month for unemployment insurance.But, when he needed the money they denied it.Then after giving them all the paperwork they demanded they said he should get this money we waited months for it.In the meantime I was unemployed and my parents sent us money from the US so we could survive.

When we finally got the money it was 5000kr and that was it they didn't give us anymore money they said my husband was not getting the money.The Kronofodgen came after the house they placed it on auction and when we tried to save the house my parents wanted to help us so we wouldn't have to move Handelsbanken demanded $45,000 and would not settle for less that that and that money they wanted in full before the auction started.We owed $25,000 but the demanded more.My parents bank would not allow them to move that kind of money that quickly to an overseas account.They said if the house didn't sell they would be willing to work with us.It didn't sell but they still demanded the same amount of money and would not budge.

When we went to seek help the Government said we could not get help because we owned a home and that if we lost our home we could not get public housing.We would have to rent a private apartment and in Stockholm there is a shortage of apartments.We had no choice but to move to the US where there is work for Computer Programmers.We had to donate our belonging and sell what we could.We pulled our kids out of their schools and it was very hard for them they cried and it was heartbreaking for all us.

Now we live in New York in an apartment in my parents home while we wait for my husband's work permit.The house was place on auction again in March and someone I considered a friend bought the house.It was 3,500.00 and she got them to reduce the price to 3,340.00.Our car is on auction next month and now the Tax Authority insists that we owe them money they write to us here in the US and say they can collect from us here.

My husband feels we won't see any money from the house we lived in on Petersens Vag in Skarholmen, Sweden that the Tax Authority would find a way to take whatever is left.He is so hurt about what happened we all are.My husband and both suffer from depression.If you are working in Sweden its great if you lose your work its over.
19:13 May 21, 2012 by Svensksmith
@Take a chance: you have been victimized. I would look into legal action. It's a shame to see decent, hard-working people getting shafted by the very people who should be looking out for them.

Kämpa på!
20:02 May 21, 2012 by Carbarrister
Joakim Palme, an author of the report, told the paper that Sweden was in the process of abandoning the famed "Swedish model", marked by generous social insurance benefits for all citizens.

This problem is not unique to Sweden. The social welfare model worked well when productivity was high and the cost of the benefits were modest and few were using the benefits.

Now there are only two solutions: raise revenue or reduce benefits. It usually winds up being both. Raise taxes on business or individuals and productivity is reduced leaving less revenue to pay out in benefits. Even if there is an effort made to lower taxes to increase productivity it is difficult to generate enough revenue to pay out "generous" benefits.
20:07 May 21, 2012 by Takea chance onme
Thank you so much for your support Svensksmith I am still hoping that we can get some help.We tried to get a lawyer but they would not represent the case because they said once they decided my husband should not get this money then there is nothing that can be done.But, I just don't think that makes any sense obviously an injustice has been done to us.I won't give up and hope we will eventually get justice in this.
20:21 May 21, 2012 by libertarianism
@ Take a chance, Am so sorry for what you've experienced. If possible, do pursue legal action and continue to share your story. Keep your chin up and know that others are wishing you strength. I hope you experience something beautiful today...
21:19 May 21, 2012 by Takea chance onme
@ libertarianism thank you so much that was really sweet of you.I will keep sharing our story and I won't give up.Thank you so much for your kindness it really means a lot to me.Hope you have a lovely day.
22:25 May 21, 2012 by rymagnusson
This is what happens when you elect center-right politicians who propose neoliberal policies.
04:21 May 22, 2012 by SecondGen
"... But with a cap of 18,700 kronor ($2,623) a month in unemployment benefits, only 12 percent of the unemployed Swedes receive payments that match their allowable percentage of their previous salaries. ..."

Hate to say it but that's still more than here in the USA. Single max is $385, married with non-working spouse is $458 and with children is $531 max (so our max would be $2124/mo). On the good side, they extended benefits to last up to 99 weeks, perhaps that's where Sweden is falling short is they are adding the total benefits up and not tracking how much on receives weekly?

As a side note, most people in U.S. cities have home mortgage payments that exceed or totally consumes what unemployment pays per month hence our foreclosure crises continues. If you live on a block with a foreclosure, the value of your property just went down 15-20% in addition to what it had already crashed to with the market falling apart.
06:47 May 22, 2012 by Da Goat
It is still true "if you don't work you don't eat" except now it is more complex . you now have to not only go hungry, but pay your bankster out as well!

seems like socialism has taken it full circle ... if only they had left it alone !

@ take a chance, you did it wrong you were supposed to burn your house down and walk away with the insurance money... or at least put mis-handles bank out of their miserable greedy misery! What Bar-stards! perhaps you need to return and claim asylum ! (remember to apply boot polish first....and a turban maybe)
08:52 May 22, 2012 by rise
@ Takea chance onme

The first word coming to my mind is "myndighetsmissbruk"! I don't believe you've been fairly treated. Instead of being your "safety buffer" the society has abandoned you - or, and I'd rather say, some almighty jerk of a civil servant has taken the chance to let him/herself feel "very powerful" at your expense. >:-(

If you're having the right on your side, take it. Det är bara att kämpa vidare! Your situation may even be a case for The Ombudsmen for Justice:

http://www.jo.se/Page.aspx?Language=en
09:47 May 22, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
@ Takea chance onme

I wish you all the best in trying to secure a satisfactory outcome to your misfortune.

As well as pursuing legal action, why not consider contacting your elected representative (congressional, senator etc) now you're back in the US?

I found the Swedes breaking national agreements and EU law in relation to my personal tax position, and access to healthcare (I'm an MS sufferer). I honestly couldn't get anybody to help.

In the end, I contacted my former UK member of parliament who DID get things moving - with a word in the right ear.

I honestly think Sweden is such a top-down society with much of the country run by 'muppets' - and that you must get someone 'significant' to TELL the 'muppets' what to do.

Best of luck!!
10:21 May 22, 2012 by bocale1
@HelmiVainikka, Svensksmith, etc... this has nothing to do with running out of money or having an imbalanced system.

Sweden has a yearly budget surplus of +0,6 (for example, USA is at -8,8%, UK - 8,9%), a GDP growing above 4% (US and UK stand around 1-1,5%), one of the lowest public debt in the world, 36,8% (US is at 69,4% and UK at 79,5%).

In one sentence, Sweden has potentially a lot of money to spend, the problem is the the current government has decided to use this money just to continue improving the country finances instead of investing in citizen welfare.

A choice that I really dislike and gives me the idea that the current political leadership has totally lost focus on what the primary target of politics should be, it means the quality of life of its citizens.
10:50 May 22, 2012 by Skaane_nisse
Hello all, my first post in this forum as I became a new member today.

@ Takea chance onme

A very disturbing story, I hope to see good progress with your case, please keep us posted.

As a Germany living in Southern Sweden and working in Copenhagen, I have had varying experiences with government agencies in both Denmark and Sweden, some good and some bad, but your story topps everything I have heard before.

I do see a continuing deterioration of public services here in Scandinavia and across Europe, the cause of which is clear to me: Public debt and wrong priorities (like wars). In Sweden, everything is being cebtralised and standardised. A lot of work is done by cheap labour. That explains some of the symptoms we see today.

I stronlgy encourage people to rethink the implications and the roles of (big) central governments. We all just have to look at the facts and the trends, that shall give us at least an idea where we are heading. I am afraid to say that stories like @ Takea chance onme will become more the rule rather the exception. UNLESS... People start to ask critical questions and show resistance and express opposition to political misbehaviour. People should get more involved in community activities, build private networks that can complement the growing shortcomings of governments
11:40 May 22, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
@bocale

I fully agree with you because...

"A choice that I really dislike and gives me the idea that the current political leadership has totally lost focus on what the primary target of politics should be, it means the quality of life of its citizens."

...that is what I would call imbalanced.

As Skaane said, governments are syphoning off money and economical power from its people.

Just a few days ago there was a guy on CNBC who said that he finds it pathetic that governments all across Europe preach austerity meanwhile governmental spending has increased by over 70% delta peak over the last 10 years.

Via "take care of it yourself" elements installed and pushed across Europe that is something that can be done very easily.

It does therefore not really matter how much money a country technically has at its disposal. If it gets stockpiled around a very low percentage of the Eilte that is running the whole damn thing, it wont help the actually working citizens one single bit.

Europe is getting slowly but surely shoehorned and made generic.
12:04 May 22, 2012 by Douglas Garner
@secondgen... not only can you not pay your mortgage payment and eat, but back in the states the unemployment insurance barely pays for your medical insurance while you are on cobra! Even at its worst, Sweden is still much better for unemployed persons.
14:47 May 22, 2012 by Uncle
@Takea chance onme

I am sorry, but since you felt that you need to share this story with everyone, allow me to be a bit skeptical. Personally I think that you sound like a very nice person, so do not take it personally, but it is important to question such events for the sake of others (especially those, who do not have parents who can support them for months).

"But, when he needed the money they denied it. Then after giving them all the paperwork… "

I did not quite get it - you came there the first time without papers? Isn't it obvious that the unemployment authority will require a mountain of papers, but, since both of you were unemployed, was it such a problem to fill the required paperwork the very next day after the unemployment prospect was clear? Did you expect just to tell them that you need money and receive a suitcase with cash?

"... they said he should get this money we waited months for it."

And what exactly did you do all these months? Your house was auctioned for 3,5MSEK. What was the market value? 4MSEK? Payments of what 15-20KSEK a month? What was your best solution - not to pay the bank loan? Why all of these months were not spent to sell the crazy expensive house as fast as possible even at a loss?

"When we finally got the money it was 5000kr"

As well as I know these authorities, the amounts are crystal clear and available online. Why was it such a surprise? How much did you expect? 25 thousand?? You owed 150 THOUSAND kronor. More than half a year of payments on the house! When you were sitting for all these months and throwing your bills in the bin were you SERIOUSLY hoping that when your husband gets all of these enormous amounts of unemployment money, you can still afford your house?

"We would have to rent a private apartment and in Stockholm there is a shortage of apartments."

Khm, I am sorry… Why in the Lords name, did you have to live in Stockholm? There are apartments in Bromma, Kista, Uppsala, Gothenburg, Malmö etc. You were anyways unemployed, so you could find a small apartment in Haparanda for crying out loud. Currently there are 1300 jobs for programmers in the entire Sweden. I am sure that double of that for IT administrators.

I am positive that as an immigrant you have no idea about all the tricks and paperwork, but it seems that your husband did not have a plan for "what if…" situation, except "her daddy will take care of it". Also, one does not need to be 23 generations in Sweden to do a simple calculation of what you can and cannot afford if disaster strikes, even if the income is in fact unexpectedly low.

Bottom line - there are a myriad of things that could be done better based on what you describe, so I am hesitant assuming all the horrors about the system in Sweden. It feels like a lot of your misfortune could be rather blamed on your depression, rather than systematical failure.

I am really sorry for the kids though. THEY indeed could not do much to prevent it.
15:02 May 22, 2012 by Bender B Rodriquez
Also, there is no way in hell your husband paid 7000 kr/month for unemployment insurance. A-kassa only costs a few 100 a month, including high income insurance.
17:14 May 22, 2012 by strixy
Yeah, blame the victim. Always nice to see the soldiers of socialist bureaucracy in action. The system is never wrong, eh? :P
19:08 May 22, 2012 by Uncle
strixy

If the victim walks in the middle of a highway, I would blame him for his own injuries.

You see, a socialist would sing "We will overcome" with the little victim. A socialist would be clapping the victim on her shoulder and shaking his head with a tear in his eye. Then he would tear his shirt and call for the system change, there 95% sponsor the 5% unemployed in such way, that the little victimized unemployed could maintain her 4 million house in Stockholm forever.

A conservative capitalist on the other hand would suggest real life solutions (in this case retroactive, but for many other - future) for this situation. A capitalist would make a business case and suggest a road which would lead the family to a normal life in Sweden, rather than hanging on the parents neck for a year and then living in their house like 4 year olds and not like two working age adults with own kids.

How about that, eh?
19:19 May 22, 2012 by rise
I've had more than enough of battles with the authorities here in Sweden so I'd rather choose to believe "Takea chance onme" 's story. Not that it necessarily is the whole truth, but surely how she did experience it all, which isn't the same thing.

One cannot be naive regarding the authorities here. That is important to remember. They do not care about you so why should they be effected by your problems!? Nothing personal of course; you're nothing but yet an other piece of paper in their file holder.

P.S. 7000 kr/month? Probably just a misspelling - 700 kr/month would be more reasonable...
21:10 May 22, 2012 by Takea chance onme
@ Bender B Rodriquez I was just going to update that I made a mistake on the paynment he made it was about 750kr a month.The only time they gave us money was when he paid the fee which was about 700kr and they only gave us 4000kr and that was for half of the month in total that is all we got from A-Kassa.
22:50 May 22, 2012 by rise
Moderaternas Sverige: "sköt dig själv och skit i andra!" Sorry, can't come up with a suitable translation - the English language is soft in comparison; sentences tends to sound... silly.
02:57 May 23, 2012 by InterceptorZone
@Takea chance onme: I am very sorry for what happened to you but I've got to tell you that I'm having hard time believing your story. To not get into details - I believe Uncle has said enough - I think the whole story doesn't make any sense to me for these few simple facts. A lot of middle-eastern families who do nothing in their life in Sweden have lived for years with the support of the government. I am a volunteer in the kommun where I live and I came across a lot of interesting cases. A guy from northern Irak who came into Sweden as a refugee could get a single room apartment from the government and a wage to keep going. He could also bring his parents and they get some kind of support from the social service as well. Cases like this are countless. Also you have the right if you are unemployed to go find a job and the government will pay up to 80% of your salary. Don't you know all of this? I'm also having hard time admitting you're so naive. Am I wrong? I am very sorry if I sound rude but I want to make things clear because there might be some people with no clear vision who're reading your comment. They would have heart attacks and would lose belief in the Swedish insurance system. I actually have tons of questions for you Madam, but I am not going to do it here, maybe another day. I'd start by the very first question that came into my head: What did you really expect? You attachment to your house doesn't provide enough motivation to stay there knowing that you can't afford it. I don't know what were the circumstances but I truly believe that you and your hubby had difficulties to make fast decisions and to start looking for solutions. You need to be realistic sometimes and to face the problems with faith. Why would the government decline the aid request of a decent hard working family while providing all support to people who have eventually never worked?

Someone said above that the system did great when only few were getting the benefits. Now who is getting the benefits? I guess everyone. Anyone who by either his own will or by simple accident/hazard that got him on the Swedish soil will claim his right to a "benefit". I ask myself sometimes, why does Sweden need to take care of all the mess happening in the World? Wouldn't be better to take care of the people who are already here?

Once upon the time, there was a legendary generous system. Not anymore. "I think Heaven exists on Earth" that is what Dad said when he came back home from a trip to Sweden in 88. He worked for Reuters. He looked at it as a professional reporter and not an ordinary tourist. But again, not anymore. Unfortunately, the "immigrants" have milked it all. They have exhausted every and each good thing. To avoid stupid generalizations, I refer to the individuals who take and don't give. The ones who don't pay taxes. The ones who don't try to acquire skills and to start giving the plus...etc.
16:01 May 23, 2012 by EP
@InterceptorZone writes: I ask myself sometimes, why does Sweden need to take care of all the mess happening in the World? Wouldn't be better to take care of the people who are already here?

What a self-righteous comment and this is so typical of Swedes, and insignificant little country (and a wimp at that) trying to show that it has some muscle. How how Sweden taken care of the world, pray tell me ...

I've never been to a country that has their heads so far up their own asses as Sweden ... sheesh!!!
20:17 May 23, 2012 by grymagnusson
The author of this 'report' is Joakim Palme, son of former Social Democrat PM Olof Palme.

Sweden almost went bust in the mid-90s, due to this so-called 'Swedish model' of rising state outgoings patched up by rising taxes. A model which Olof Palme had a crucial role in creating.

The new 'Swedish model' recognises that benefits are there to catch you when you fall, not to sustain the perfectly capable from the cradle to the grave.

This report is just another vain attempt to re-write history and exonerate the Soc Dems under Palme.

Credit where credit is due - the Persson govt did mich to turn back Sweden from the abyss and laid the basis for a more feasible balance of incentive to work, backed up by a limited safety net.
22:31 May 23, 2012 by rise
@ EP

Whom are you talking about? InterceptorZone wrote:

""I think Heaven exists on Earth" that is what Dad said when he came back home from a trip to Sweden in 88. He worked for Reuters."

My conclusion: InterceptorZone is from England. A further conclusion: you were insulting Englishmen with that rubbish of yours, not Swedes.
22:37 May 23, 2012 by grymagnusson
InterceptorZone is just one more SD internet goon.
22:58 May 23, 2012 by InterceptorZone
Quick briefing to the moron who wrote "insignificant little country". Sweden is actually a country of a great history. You just need to learn more. Countless are the arguments and so the UN missions Sweden has been part of since 1990. So I am not going to waist time on this.

@grymagnusson: you made very interesting observations about the writer of the study but you missed the fact that I made my statement unambiguous. SD state it also clear: Sweden is only for Swedes. So you could have concluded I'm not a "SD internet goon".

@rise: Thanks :-) But I am not from UK. My English is obviously not perfect.
19:44 May 25, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
"... But with a cap of 18,700 kronor ($2,623) a month in unemployment benefits, only 12 percent of the unemployed Swedes receive payments that match their allowable percentage of their previous salaries. ..."

Wow! That is a lot of unemployment compensation! Those complaining about should try living in the USA where the max is just a couple hundred dollars a month!
20:37 May 25, 2012 by Dan in Halmstad
Carbarrister said above that there are only two solutions: increase taxes or reduce benefits. That appears to be true but only within the current framework by which the society operates, that is, banks loan money and demand repayment plus interest. A government, however, can spend money into circulation rather than banks loaning money into circulation. A sovereign state can create all the credit it wants. The U.S. Constitution gave the power to Congress to coin money and regulate its value, which is has long since turned over the bankers. I am sure Sweden's constitution grants a similar sovereign power. A state bank such as exists in North Dakota would rapidly solve the rapidly disappearing Swedish model.
17:32 May 26, 2012 by Ikasugami
My husband and I who currently live in the U.S. are in the process of learning Swedish in the hopes of moving there someday. Hearing news like this and stories like @Take a Chance are frightening, but also very helpful in making us more knowledgeable and prepared. So thank you for sharing...though, I'd still rather live there.

@Dan in Halmstad: I never ever thought I'd read a reference to North Dakota on this site! HA
23:36 May 26, 2012 by exhale
To all of you who have never had to deal with A-kassa,you don't have a clue as to the amount of paperwork that is involved.I have lived and worked here for 16 yearsand recently have had my hours reduced.I too was turned down by A-kassa the first time,from several people that I spoke to this is the usual scenario.I had my own small hobby business that I used to bill when I would occasionally teach in other schools.I had to close this company in order to qualify. I couldn't even ''rest'' it as I was advised that I would not get approved.

I have paid my monthly fees to them feeling that I would be taken care of.It is an almost humiliating experience to have to go through.

A-kassa is such a mysterious organization,the people that work there seem to have problems understanding the rules themselves and they seem to lack common sense.For example they ask for papers that have already been submitted.They seem to lack the ability to put 2 different papers side by side and compare them.The system for receiving benefits is so complicated that they don't even understand it and they of course cannot explain it to you.

Only after writing a scathing appeal to them which one of their lawyers answered did I finally get approved for 70 days as I managed to hold on to my job part time.The stress of their paperwork demands is enough to drive anybody to the brink.
13:08 May 30, 2012 by ameribrit
I am not going to pass judgement on a story that I know nothing about except one side of the argument, BUT, I will point out to those that believe the Swedish welfare system is staffed only by good fairy types, Remember back a couple of years when two soldiers wounded in Afghanistan were refused their sickness benefits because they failed to file the correct paper work on the DAY THEY ARRIVED BACK IN SWEDEN. Sweden is a great place to live but it's no utopia. What it is, is the mother of all bureaucracies.
01:34 June 11, 2012 by Takea chance onme
@ Uncle

First, you have it all wrong we lived on our savings after my husband's job ended but when this was exhausted we were blessed to get help from my parents.They happen to be able to afford it and we were grateful for it.We did not get any A-Kassan money so what would you have done? We have three children.And yeah we could move to one of the places you mentioned but you forget we didn't have the work or the resources to do so.No one is going to rent to unemployed people that are not getting any help from the state.And you still need money to move.Plus the jobs are in Stockholm or surrounding areas.

Then you said that we sat there like 4 year olds that was so wrong.First off you don't know us we never ever took out credit we always paid every thing in cash we paid our bills on time before my husband lost his work.We both are hard working educated people I am Teacher and my husband a Programmer.We would of given anything to be working and this all not of happened to us.

Maybe its being American we know our government is screwed up so we hear stories like mines and we have compassion for others.But, from your comments there is such a lack of compassion.How dare you accuse us and think yourself to be better and smarter than others.

The only reason I commented and talked about our experience is to warn people look we were middle class look what happened to us.Be careful it can happen to you too.We are living in the real world and sometimes things go wrong yes even in Sweden especially in Sweden.

Your comments and vile nasty attitude is so not called for how dare you!
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Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

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The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

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Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

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