Current tax rate is chickenfeed – Persson

Above a large picture of two women in leotards pretending to be chickens, Saturday's DN declared that "increased tax will save the welfare system".

The paper then dedicated a centre-spread to an interview with Göran Persson, in which he stated his readiness to raise the tax rate by 10% over the next few years if the welfare system couldn’t be financed simply by getting more people into work.

“Everyone says you can’t raise taxes above x percent,” he explained rather vaguely, “But you can see that ‘x’ varies in different countries. The more you get people involved in an open dialogue, the higher you can raise x.”

Assuming, presumably, that the people involved in the dialogue agree – which Tuesday’s Svenska Dagbladet didn’t. “It is ironic that Göran Persson demonstrates such faith in the future – a faith that so many of us are lacking thanks to his policy of economic centralisation and government control.”

Then the paper drew its readers’ attention to the fact that “there are four million working Swedes supporting not just children and pensioners, but also a million non-working Swedish adults.”

“Of all the absurdities in our state finances, this is the worst. It pushes up costs and taxes, keeps growth down and creates a bad economic atmosphere. But Persson has nothing concrete to say about how to get more people into work.”

The chickens? That was part of a dance workshop at the state-funded Kulturhuset. “They’re not just acting like chickens,” explained the instructor. “They are chickens. It’s all about empathy.”