Swedish parliament rejects childcare split

A controversial government proposal to split the childcare allowance equally between parents who are separated, whether or not both agree to it, has been rejected by parliament.

The government’s idea was that the state childcare allowance should be divided equally between the parents if only one of them requests it. But the conservative opposition was joined by the Left Party in its rejection of the proposal. They said that both parents must approve the 50-50 split.

They also forced the government to instigate an inquiry into the allowance and the rules governing the care of children whose parents have separated.

Otherwise, the parties were agreed on the basic proposal: that it should be possible to split the childcare allowance equally between the parents if they both agree, when the child lives alternately with the mother and father.

Parents who live together can tell the Social Insurance Administration (Försäkringskassan) who should be the recipient of the benefit. If no application is made, the money will be paid to the mother, as is currently the case.

The new rules will come into effect in July.

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