• Sweden's news in English
 

Borg to cut student grants and pension perks

Published: 20 Feb 2014 11:13 GMT+01:00

"You shouldn't stoke the fire in good times," Borg told reporters in Stockholm on Thursday as he mapped out the centre-right government coalition's budget prognosis for the near- and medium term. He said he no longer saw the need to use stimulus measures to keep Sweden's economy buoyant, and argued that it was time to strengthen public finances. 
 
"Sweden needs proper levees in place before the next crisis," Borg said, adding that Sweden's reliance on liquidity and its high household indebtedness was "a big element of uncertainty in the Swedish economy". 
 
To tighten the reins, Borg said he would slash a tax deduction for Swedish pension savers from 1,000 kronor ($153) to 200 a month, with sights set on removing it completely. 
 
"It has a complicated redistributive profile, and is a relic from the high-tax society," Borg said. He explained further that his government's view that more Swedes needed to work beyond their pension age also meant he was critical of a tax system that worked as an incentive to retire. 
 
The new proposals also affect students. The government will cut the student grant by 300 kronor a month, but allow students to borrow 1,000 more than they can today.
 
With the student loans agency CSN's move to allow students to earn up to 14,100 kronor a month without it affecting the size of their grant, Borg said students had greater leeway in managing their personal finances. All savings in the student grants and loans system would be ploughed back into education, he promised. 
 
"Education is an investment," he said. "We make that clear by introducing improvements to the education system." 
 
The normally tax-shy government, which has introduced income tax cuts in four waves since taking power in 2006, said it would increase fees on vehicles, alcohol, and tobacco to pull in some extra cash. The move would add one krona to a 69-kronor bottle of wine, for example, two kronor to a box of snus, and one krona to a packet of cigarettes. 
 
He said the increase on cigarettes was kept "mild" in order not to facilitate smuggling. 
 
"These taxes may be raised further in the future, but it should happen in small increments," Borg concluded. 

Ann Törnkvist (ann.tornkvist@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Older Swedes 'see the benefits of immigration'
Older Swedes are more positive about immigration than their European counterparts. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson / TT

Older Swedes 'see the benefits of immigration'

Swedish pensioners are significantly more positive about immigration than other older people in Europe, according to a new study from the World Bank. READ  

Increase in violence in Swedish asylum centres
The surge of migrants into Europe fleeing war-torn regions has increased the pressure on the Swedish migration system. Photo: Soeren Bidstup / AFP / Scanpix Denmark

Increase in violence in Swedish asylum centres

The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) has so far this year recorded almost as many reports of threats and violence in asylum accommodation as throughout the whole of 2014, according to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. READ  

Wet July dampens Swedes' summer spirit
Rain in Stockholm. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Wet July dampens Swedes' summer spirit

Swedes complaining about the disappointing summer were vindicated after meterologists revealed on Friday that July indeed finished wetter – but warmer – than normal. READ  

Swedes get set for new money, money, money
Christina Wejshammar of Sweden's central bank. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Swedes get set for new money, money, money

A new smartphone app is set to help Swedes navigate the biggest switch in bank notes the country has ever seen with only two months to go before the new cash is introduced. READ  

Bananas free Swedish man from speeding fine
These are not the bananas on trial. Photo: Leif R Jansson/SCANPIX

Bananas free Swedish man from speeding fine

A Swedish driver has escaped speeding tickets in court – because the offender was eating a banana. If that sounds bananas to you, keep reading. READ  

Swedish farm mystery as pigs vanish without trace
Schörling suspects that the swine, which have a value of around 65,000 kronor, were stolen. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/SCANPIX

Swedish farm mystery as pigs vanish without trace

UPDATED: A Swedish farmer is mystified about the disappearance of 64 pigs from his farmyard in the town of Vingåker, central Sweden. READ  

Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say police
Snoop Dogg in concert in Uppsala. Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say police

Initial tests suggest that US rapper Snoop Dogg was under the influence when he was arrested by Swedish police after performing at a gig last weekend, a police spokesman told The Local on Friday. READ  

Mining behind Swedish 'earthquake' say experts
The Malmberget mine in northern Sweden. Photo: Carl-Johan Utsi/TT

Mining behind Swedish 'earthquake' say experts

On Friday Sweden awoke to news of the second earthquake in less than a week, this time in the far north of the country. But a seismologist told The Local that the tremors were the result of mining activity. READ  

Concerns over 'too Swedish' police force
Swedish police are struggling to attract people from foreign backgrounds. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Concerns over 'too Swedish' police force

UPDATED: Swedish police academies expressed concern on Friday over a sharp decline in the number of foreign-born future officers. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to throw your own Swedish crayfish party
Swedish crayfish party. Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se

How to throw your own Swedish crayfish party

August crayfish parties are one of the highlights of the Swedish calendar and appeal to people of all ages. Food writer John Duxbury shares his best tips with The Local for making your own crayfish party a success. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Technology
Modern mugging: Swedish thieves use smartphone app to rob man
Lifestyle
Five fun festivals to get you partying in Sweden this week
National
How a century-old Russian sub wreck got Sweden into a frenzy
Gallery
People-watching: July 29th
National
How to become a Swedish woman
Blog updates

31 July

Editor’s blog, July 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, As the Stockholm Pride Festival kicked off this week, we spoke to the chairman of..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Free bus cards for refugees in Sweden
Lifestyle
New snaps of Sweden's baby prince
National
Why are Swedes so scared of Russian submarines?
Gallery
Property of the week: Simrishamn, Skåne
National
Why has Snoop Dogg said he will never return to Sweden?
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Gallery
People-watching: July 10th-12th
Travel
Foreign hikers in Sweden set to get more help in English
National
Prince Nicolas enjoys first summer
National
Meet the amazing Swedish granny who loves theme parks
National
Stockholm to host Eurovision 2016
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
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

3,274
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