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Reinfeldt blames wealth gap on Social Democrats

Reinfeldt blames wealth gap on Social Democrats

Published: 18 Feb 2013 17:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Feb 2013 17:29 GMT+01:00

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt blamed the Social Democrats for Sweden's growing wealth gap following the publication on Monday of a report showing that Swedes are nevertheless much better off today than they were a decade ago.

While incomes have increased at all levels in Sweden since 2000, the increases have been greater for wealthier Swedes, according to a new report from Statistics Sweden (SCB) which examines Swedes' standard of living.

Overall, Swedes' standard of living is 40 percent higher in 2011 than it was in 1999.

But while incomes rose by 55 percent for the ten percent of Swedes with the highest standard of living, the portion of the population with the lowest standard of living only saw their incomes rise by 21 percent.

In addition, the percentage of the population with a low standard of living rose from 8.4 percent in 1999 to 14.4 percent in 2011.

According to SCB, a low standard of living, or low economic standard, is defined as having a disposable income lower than 60 percent of the median value of the overall population. In 2011 the median value was 210,200 kronor ($33,000).

Commenting on the figures, Reinfeldt was quick to lay blame on his Social Democrat predecessor as prime minister.

"A large portion of these growing divisions took place during Göran Persson's time in power," Reinfeldt told the TT news agency.

He added that the government has implemented a number of redistributive policies, including raising housing supplements for pensioners and families with small children.

Reinfeldt added that he's open to considering additional redistributive measures to help single parents as the current regime of in-work tax credits (jobbskatteavdraget) may not be sufficient.

According to SCB's figures, Swedes overall standard of living in 2011 was 40 percent higher than it was in 1999.

The youngest Swedes have also seen their standard of living increase by more than Sweden's elderly. For those under age 20, the increase was 46 percent while those age 75 and above had an increase of 26 percent.

The report also found that foreign-born adults (aged 20 and above) only saw a 27 percent increase in their standard of living, compared to a 41 percent increase for Swedish born adults.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

18:27 February 18, 2013 by Brtahan
So did the prices increase ! so they were better off in 1999 than 2013. atleast so many services were free.
19:21 February 18, 2013 by Eric1
The leftist parties want equality through poverty. Everyone is equally poor. The right wants a level playing field where everyone has the same chance to be successful but helping those are unable because of disability. Laziness isn't a disability. This does play well with those who free load.
23:58 February 18, 2013 by Svensksmith
Nice picture. Does he eat lots of bananas?
07:28 February 19, 2013 by rise
Reinfeldt:

"My fur is itching!"

Persson:

"Now is as good as any time to fart!"

The mind of the politician:

"All that is good is thanks to me and us. All that is bad is because of you and them."
08:14 February 19, 2013 by isenhand
Interesting. The policies of the Alliance should cause an increase in the wealth gap so I'll guess and say the economic problems over the last few years has meant thing haven't got as bad as they could have in Sweden.
14:53 February 19, 2013 by Borilla
Eric, Eric, Eric you again show your lack of knowledge. Look at the standard of living of the Nordic people and see how much better it is than the US or the UK before you start pontificating. The right's policies that you describe are directed toward helping the 1% at the expense of the other 99%. Someone running for office on your theme in Sweden would be trampled in the dust at the polls. You need to start thinking for yourself (if that is possible) and stop parroting those slogans. You are in over your head right now.
16:24 February 19, 2013 by ragdoll
Yes, the US wage inequality is crap and its neither efficient nor market driven. At the same time, Swedes just have to deal with the fact that some people are much smarter than others and some people work much harder than others and they will be rewarded. That's life and its fair and its fine.
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