“We accept all the Social Democrats’ proposals to improve public services, but we will battle against every rise in benefits and anything that makes it less worthwhile to work,” he told his audience.
The Moderate Party is the largest member of the four-party Alliance, which has a slight lead in most opinion polls ahead of the September 17th election. Reinfeldt is expected to be prime minister in any Alliance government.
In a letter to the leaders of the other Alliance parties, Reinfeldt said that they could afford to make extra promises ahead of the election worth around 10 billion kronor per year.
Reinfeldt wants that money to go towards bringing forward the Alliance’s proposed income tax cuts, that had been tabled for 2007 and 2008. This would mean a tax cut of 45 billion kronor by 2007.
He also said he wanted the Alliance’s election manifesto to include more tax cuts focused on making it more worthwhile to work. This would be achieved by reducing marginal tax for people with low incomes by a couple of percent by 2008.
The Moderate leader also wants the Alliance to promise to reduce payroll tax for young people up to 25.
But Reinfeldt also signalled extra spending in certain areas. He wants to spend 1 billion kronor on teacher training and to increase child benefits by 100 kronor a month. This would stop it being eaten up by inflation, he said.
Reinfeldt also added that he would accept all the Social Democrats’ proposals for health and education.
“Whatever they propose, we will accept and propose more,” he said.
He said the argument in the election would not be about the core of the welfare state, but about how more people could get into work. He added that he would also accept the Social Democrats’ proposals on dentistry reform and on spending on care for the elderly.