• Sweden's news in English
 

Union experts offer bold tax reform plan

TT/The Local/at · 14 Feb 2014, 14:56

Published: 14 Feb 2014 14:56 GMT+01:00

The LO union confederation on Friday said various tax reforms over the past two decades, carried out by both by left- and right-leaning governments, had left the tax landscape looking like a "Swiss cheese full of holes".

"The patchwork quilt of exemptions and special solutions introduced since the tax reform has worsened the functioning of the Swedish tax system," LO wrote in a statement on Friday. "At the same time, new challenges have emerged over the past 20 years and they need to be addressed. Not least among them is Sweden's EU entry and the continued globalization of Sweden's economy." 

The union group's economists argued that it was time to reintroduce the inheritance tax - scrapped in 2005 -- but neither the shadow finance minister Magdalena Andersson of the Social Democrat party - LO's historic ally - or Finance Minister Anders Borg saw any merit to the proposal. Borg said that taxing people's inheritance had proven to be detrimental to retaining talent in Sweden.

"It means that generational shifts are made more difficult, and historically it has driven several high-profile entrepreneurs who've created thousands of jobs out of Sweden to other countries," Borg told the TT news agency on Friday.

While LO economists Ola Pettersson and Torbjörn Hållö argued in an op-ed in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper that Swedes may have to accept higher taxes to fund tomorrow's welfare, the entire proposal received a thumbs-down from Borg.

"I think that LO's tax proposal is very damaging to the Swedish economy,"  he told the TT news agency. "It would lead to a significantly lower employment rate and would have a devastating effect on entrepreneurs and companies in Sweden."

A second key proposal in Friday's fiscal policy manifesto addressed the conservative coalition's focus on income tax reductions. Overall, LO argued, too much reform had focused on easing the tax burden of those with higher incomes.

Yet the confederation's traditional Social Democrat allies said on Friday that neither an overhaul of income-tax reductions nor death duties would make it onto their economic agenda. The shadow finance minister in fact worked for the Social Democrat prime minister, Göran Persson, who scrapped the inheritance tax in the first place.

While she added that some of LO's arguments carried more weight logically, such as re-introducing state taxes on property, she said that the Swedish people had shown at the ballot box previously they have no appetite for property taxes.  

TT/The Local/at (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden moves to save disputed Gotland forest
Environment Minister Åsa Romson at Monday's press conference. Photo: Stig Hammarstedt/TT

Sweden moves to save disputed Gotland forest

20 minutes ago

A long-running dispute over a proposed limestone quarry for the Swedish island of Gotland could be coming to an end after the government moved to turn the forest into a protected area.

Video
Swedes show world how to eat fermented herring
Screengrab: Höga Kusten Destinationsutveckling AB/YouTube

Swedes show world how to eat fermented herring

2 hours ago

A fermented herring expert has teamed up with a Swedish tourism company to show the world how surströmming is supposed to be eaten in response to a BuzzFeed video in which Americans turn their noses up at the Swedish delicacy.

Migrant crisis
EU calls migrant crisis emergency talks
The Swedish coastguard rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: Kustbevakningen

EU calls migrant crisis emergency talks

4 hours ago

The European Union has called an emergency meeting of interior and justice ministers in two weeks to find concrete measures to cope with escalating migration.

'Kidnapped' man found dead in western Sweden
Swedish police investigate the scene where the body was found. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

'Kidnapped' man found dead in western Sweden

5 hours ago

Swedish police have launched a murder investigation after a 27-year-old man who was reportedly kidnapped in southern Gothenburg was found dead.

My Swedish Career
'What can I bring to Sweden that is unique?'
Trevor Adams from Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo: Private

'What can I bring to Sweden that is unique?'

6 hours ago

Trevor Adams, 23, tells The Local how he went from washing dishes to running his own restaurant franchise after turning his weakness in the Swedish jobs market into a unique strength.

One dead after shooting and stabbing in Rinkeby
Police examining the murder scene in Rinkeby. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

One dead after shooting and stabbing in Rinkeby

19 hours ago

One person has been killed and three others injured in a shooting and stabbing incident in the Rinkeby suburb of Stockholm.

Swedish police: ‘Help us find kidnapped man’
Anton was abducted in a red VW Passat. Photo of car (not involved in incident): Praiselightmedia, via Wikimedia

Swedish police: ‘Help us find kidnapped man’

21 hours ago

A 27-year-old man was beaten and abducted by several people in a red VW Passat earlier this week in Gothenburg.

Sweden Democrats: 'We will run the country'
Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, speaking on Saturday. Photo: Rickard Nilsson/TT

Sweden Democrats: 'We will run the country'

1 day ago

In his keynote summer speech on Saturday in his hometown of Sölvesborg, Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the far-right Sweden Democrats, predicted that his party would one day be strong enough to run the country and called for a referendum on immigration.

Plane crash-lands on Swedish road
Photo: Adam Ihse

Plane crash-lands on Swedish road

1 day ago

A light aircraft was forced to land on Highway 27 outside Borås at lunchtime. No one was harmed.

The Local investigates
Should more people live on boats in Stockholm?
House boats at Pampas Marina. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Should more people live on boats in Stockholm?

2 days ago

Living on a boat in Stockholm used to be the preserve of the rich. But as the city's housing crisis swells, could more affordable floating accommodation help provide a solution to the shortage? The Local investigates.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Gallery
People-watching: August 28th-30th
National
'Sweden Democrats will run the country'
National
Swedish bin men hailed as heroes after rescuing doomed kitten
National
This Swedish teen was told she was 'too big' to be a model
Lifestyle
Six reasons to stay outdoors this week
Blog updates

28 August

Editor’s blog, August 28th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, It was all glitz and glamour in Sweden this week as Stockholm Fashion Week got..." READ »

 

18 August

Preteritum eller presens perfekt? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hello everyone, It’s grammar time ! I got an interesting question about the past tense vs present..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'It gives you the guts to believe in yourself'
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th
Sponsored Article
Nine places where Stockholm needs more English
National
Rescued baby lemur gets new Stockholm home
National
Stockholm Fashion Week turns island into Mars
Gallery
Property of the week: Stora Essingen, Stockholm
National
Swedish crayfish thieves caught red handed by officers
National
Veil soon to be lifted on new Millennium sequel novel
Gallery
People-watching: August 21st - 22nd
Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se
Presented by Stockholm Academic Forum
International students welcomed to Stockholm
National
The Bridge: What does the third season have in store?
National
Lucky escape for Swedes after 'dead' bear launches attack
National
Syrian asylum seeker comic: 'We don't prefer Sweden any more'
National
Are anti-immigration nationalists really now Sweden's biggest party?
Lifestyle
Baby joy for Swedish crime queen and her wrestler boyfriend
National
Soldier accused of faking first Isis attack in Sweden
National
Fire alert as Sweden sizzles in summer heatwave
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th
National
Meet the Swede who is crazy for Norway’s mass killer
National
Swede's review of night in drunk tank goes viral
National
VIDEO: Swedish teen melts hearts with this incredible Idol audition
Society
What's a Swedish crayfish party?
National
UN: Sweden can't be left to shoulder migrant crisis alone
Gallery
Property of the week: Skogås, Huddinge
National
Men outstrip women for first time
Society
IN PICTURES: Wooden town resembles 'war zone' after huge fire
Gallery
People-watching: August 14th-16th
Sport
Swedish referee shuts viral Facebook page explaining his decisions
Business & Money
A studio in Stockholm or a castle in the countryside?
National
How did twelve skeletons end up beneath a Swedish castle?
Pharmacy to launch plasters for darker skin in anti racism drive
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
National
Millennium sequel author labelled 'grave robber'
National
Two metre long python stops traffic in Malmö
National
IN PICTURES: Shoppers pay tribute to Ikea stabbing victims
Technology
Danish 'monster' pulled out of Swedish waters
National
Bizarre baby baptism for hockey fan
Gallery
Property of the week: Löderup, Ystad
National
Sunshine brightens up Sweden
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
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

3,205
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se