Business leader makes demands

Two days after the Alliance’s big win on Sunday, the Swedish business community is setting its own vision for the country’s work climate during the next few years.

The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, a pro-business organization representing some 54,000 businesses, said on Tuesday the Alliance needs to focus on jobs first and foremost.

The organization’s head, Urban Bäckström, said he wants more from the Alliance than what was promised. Bäckström said the Alliance’s goal of creating 500,000 new jobs over the next few years is only a start.

“The job question was the most important,” he said, according to the Näringsliv24 website. “The election manifesto is a good start with many attractive recommendations, but more is needed.”

Bäckström said the Labour Market Board (AMS) needs to be reformed.

“AMS has to be reformed to start with,” he said. “It is a giant colossus that clearly pursued party politics during the election. I don’t know if you need to go so far as to abolish AMS, but you should at least raise the question.”

He said the Alliance needs to open the door to talk on the continued use of nuclear power in order to hold energy prices down.

“Energy prices have gone up, hurting the entire base industry,” he said, adding that nuclear power and hydroelectricity are needed for this. “You have to have a discussion on expanding both …”

The Confederation put together a list of several points that it says would create a better business climate in Sweden. The organization wants big tax and welfare reform, including:

– lowered unemployment benefits,

– opening the public sector for competition,

– expanding nuclear and hydroelectric power production

– and reformed labour market laws in line with what Denmark has done.

Bäckström said he thinks Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson would be a good candidate for the ministry of industry and trade since she has brought up several of these topics during the election.