Alliance leaders scorn Social Democrat manifesto

Moderates leader Fredrik Reinfeldt has poured scorn on the Social Democrats' proposal to raise unemployment benefits by up to 200 kronor a day.

Speaking on a visit to Gothenburg on Friday, Reinfeldt said that this would make it even less worthwhile to work in Sweden.

“This is how the biggest benefits party of our time talks,” said Reinfeldt. According to the Moderates leader, the proposal to increase benefits would cause trouble.

“It’s provocative in a situation where 1.5 million people are not working at all or not working as much as they would like to be,” he said.

“We have a government which is using resources to give more compensation to people so they work less. Instead I want to use those resources to increase motivation, primarily so that those who are not earning so much can work more.”

Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson thinks that the ruling party’s election manifesto is a betrayal to the 198,000 young people who are unemployed. The message to them is that they have nothing to gain from a Social Democrat-led government, she wrote in a press statement.

Lars Leijonborg, the leader of the Liberal Party, joined the chorus of criticism, describing the manifesto as “provocatively free of investment in new jobs”. The Alliance stands for job policies, while the Social Democrats can only come up with new ways of paying benefits, he continued.

Nor was the leader of the Christian Democrats impressed. Göran Hägglund called it a manifesto of broken promises.

“When it comes to jobs they have promised policies which they haven’t been able to deliver,” he said.

“When it comes to care of the elderly they have promised more places than they promised last time – then it led to fewer places.”

But Hägglund stuck to the Alliance theme, arguing that the greatest failing of the manifesto was its lack of reforms to get people into work.

“The Social Democrats are satisfied with continuing to administrate unemployment instead of attacking it,” he said.