• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

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.

Story continues below…

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
So Sweden has high taxes? Not as high as you might think
A taxpayer hands in their tax declaration. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

So you think Swedes pay a lot in tax? Others pay much more, according to a new study.

Man injured in shooting at Malmö shopping mall
Rosengård Centrum in Malmö. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Police cordoned off an area around a shopping centre in Malmö after a man was shot on Tuesday afternoon.

The Local List
Ten Swedish phrases you only hear in summer
Let's work on that tan. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Summer always leaves foreigners baffled by Swedes' unique seasonal habits. Here's The Local's guide to navigating small talk when the sun comes out.

Swedish kids' TV cooks up storm with condom haggis
How, er, not to make haggis. Photo: SVT screenshot

Not the Swedish Chef as you know him.

Swedes outgrown as world's tallest people
How tiny they must look to a Dutch person! Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Forget the myth about the tall, blond, modern Viking.

Record number of drowning deaths in Sweden this year
Linus Magnusson och Ester Meijer, life guards at Skanör beach in southern Sweden last year. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

More people have drowned in Sweden so far this year than in any other year this century. The good weather is getting the blame.

Presented by American Express
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
File photo: Pixabay

Getting ready to jet off on summer holidays? Be sure to check out these tips and tricks for avoiding unnecessary headaches between packing and relaxing.

Pupils' school photo Nazi salute 'wasn't criminal'
The harbour in Simrishamn, close to where the incident took place. Photo: Jorchr/Wikimedia Commons

Four high school students who performed a Nazi salute in a school photo have had their convictions for inciting racial hatred quashed by an appeal court.

The Local List
Silly season: seven strange Swedish summer stories
But at least the weather's nice. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

What are Swedish journalists to do during the long dry news spell of summer? Here are the most bizarre stories we could find.

Opinion
'We don't know how Brexit will affect our time in Sweden'
Sweden-based Brit Sarah Campbell, left. Photo: Private & AP Photo/Tim Ireland

One month after the Brexit referendum Sarah Campbell, a British reader based in Uppsala, pens a love letter to her European Union.

Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
National
Meet the northern Swede who is the world's best mosquito killer
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
National
Sweden's Hollywood star Alicia Vikander puts her pen in the bottle
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd-24th
Blog updates

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 

11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

 
 
 
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Gallery
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
Politics
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
National
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th-10th
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,357
jobs available