• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Åkesson promises cuts to Sweden's immigration

The Local/sr · 26 Aug 2014, 15:19

Published: 26 Aug 2014 15:19 GMT+02:00

The party's election manifesto, entitled "We choose welfare", stated that pension tax should be abolished, employer fees for small companies should be decreased, unemployment benefits should be hiked, and that there should be greater possibilities of working full-time in the public sector. 

Party leader Jimmie Åkesson said the suggestions would be funded primarily by restricting immigration and its costs, particularly the flow of refugees.

The party also suggested that 5.5 billion kronor ($793 million) be given to UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency - 3 billion more than earlier suggestions.

The change is part of the party's campaign promise "Less immigration here, more help for refugees there", and focuses on increased funding to UNHCR as opposed to taking in more immigrants. 

"The total cost for receiving asylum-seekers, not even integration costs, for 2015 is near 27 billion kronor according to the Migration Board," Oscar Sjöstedt, economy spokesman for the party, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"That can be compared to UNHCR's total budget for the same year, which is about 37 billion. But with that money UNHCR can help 39 million people in distress across the world."

UNHCR officials, however, have slammed the party for placing its work and refugee reception in opposition. 

"The one has nothing to do with the other," UNHCR Europe director Vincent Cochetel told newspaper Dagens Nyheter. "Asylum is a right. We're talking about fundamental human worth."

Cochetel also said he did not see how increased funds to UNHCR would decrease numbers of asylum seekers to Sweden.

"There are 1.3 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a tiny country with a population of just over four million," he remarked. "The UNHCR getting more resources there or in Jordan would hardly impact how many seek asylum in Europe."

Story continues below…

Sweden Democrat secretary Björn Söder disagreed, saying that Cochetel was acting in his own interest and that there would indeed be fewer refugees for UNHCR to assist if many applied for asylum in Europe.

"It's critical to listen to those who are actually there, and UNHCR representatives are begging for resources. We saw that during our trip to the refugee camps," remarked Söder, who accompanied Åkesson on a trip to Jordan this past spring.

The party said that cutting back on immigration, as suggested in its manifesto, would save 15 billion kronor in 2015 alone.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local/sr (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Really hungry elk wreak havoc in Swedish forests
Om-nom-nom. Photo: AP Photo/Becky Bohrer

"It's an emergency situation."

Swedish hotels cash in on business travellers
Visitors are flocking to Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Business travellers have been flocking to city hotels in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm this summer.

Opinion
'More men must stand up against abuse in Sweden'
Equality Minister Åsa Regnér. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Sweden's equality minister Åsa Regnér on why the government is introducing a new strategy on male violence against women.

Swedes discover secret 150-metre-long cave
Per Bäckström on his way into the cave. Photo: Alexander Bennerstål/TT

They are believed to be the first people to venture into this hidden cave on the Baltic island of Gotland.

No arrests after boy's death in Gothenburg grenade attack
The scene at the apartment in Biskopsgården two days after the attack.Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

UPDATED: Almost 200 people paid their respects at the funeral of an eight-year-old boy killed in a Gothenburg grenade attack. But police told The Local they have yet to make any arrests in the case.

Swedish couple banned from owning animals kept 100 cats
Not the cats mentioned in the article. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Animal protection officers seized around 100 cats from the couple in Halland.

'Unfriendly' Swedes give expats the cold shoulder
Is it difficult to make friends with Scandinavians? Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

Sweden is among the most difficult countries for foreigners to feel at home in, according to a new survey.

Is this the most Swedish wedding cake ever?
A chocolate ball enters a mouth. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

That's a lot of balls!

Sweden's most beautiful places revealed
West-coast serenity in Onsala, Halland. Photo: Mikael Tigerström

Is the west coast the best coast?

Swedish woman bumps into bear near pub
This is not the bear Valeria Möller met in Skellefteå. Photo: Bernard Boehne

If you go down to the pub tonight...

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

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 »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,376
jobs available