Financier fears 'populist welfare profit debate'
Published: 27 Dec 2013 16:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Dec 2013 16:39 GMT+01:00
A high-profile financier has withdrawn his support from the Social Democrats, stating that both the opposition and the government risk populist pandering with moves to curtail profits in the welfare sector.
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Swedish businessman Carl Bennet, who owns shares in companies that employ over 17,000 people, said on Friday he would no longer voice his support for the socialist opposition due to its critique against venture capital firms making a profit in the tax-funded welfare sector.
"Populism is concealing something that fundamentally is good for the Swedish people," Bennet told the business daily Dagens Industri (DI).
Members of the right-of-centre government coalition have also voiced concerns about profits in education and health care, which worries the financier.
He hinted that the debate was illogical, because no similar criticism was ever leveled at third-party suppliers to the education and healthcare sectors despite them being profit-seeking ventures. Bennet owns a large part of medical technology company Getinge, which he referenced in the interview with DI.
"Why should you allow Getinge to turn a profit by making products and (offering) some services, or allow Skanska to build a hospital financed with taxes, but limit the possibility to make a profit for other companies working towards the healthcare sector?" he queried.
Bennet, who has described himself as a centrist who has thrown his support behind both the conservatives and the socialists at times, said he was now worried that a leftwing fringe had gotten an "advantage" within the Social Democrat party.