Moderates talk tough on unemployment

The Moderate Party has outlined a programme for placing tougher demands on the unemployed and those on long term sick leave, and for increased controls.

In eight points on Dagens Nyheter’s debate page, the Moderates’ leader, Fredrick Reinfeldt, and the party’s chief economist, Anders Borg, have proposed ways of tightening up the benefits system in order to maintain compensation levels.

The proposal is also expected to be presented within the conservative alliance.

“The basic requirement ought to be that the job seeker can report having made two applications for employment every week,” write Reinfeldt and Borg.

After 100 days the requirement should be toughened further and anyone who does not look hard enough for work or who does not provide employers with enough information will face a deduction of a day’s benefit.

The Moderates also want to tighten up the rules on what is considered appropriate work. The job seeker must be prepared to take a salary worth 80% of unemployment benefit and to search in a larger geographical area.

As far as sick leave is concerned, the Moderates want to make it possible for the employer to demand a doctor’s certificate from the first day off, and to give the social insurance doctor the right to check those on longer term sick leave.

Another proposal is to test a person’s ability to work earlier, for example after six months. If the person’s medical treatment is finished but he or she is still unable to return to the old job, then unemployment benefit could be paid instead of sick pay.

can the Moderates get Sweden back to work? Discuss!

TT/The Local