Minister who skipped nanny’s tax ‘earned millions’

A Swedish government minister who claimed at the weekend that she paid nannies cash-in-hand during the nineties because she "couldn't afford" to pay the payroll taxes, earned together with her husband 17 million kronor during the decade, it has emerged.

Following the revelation that she failed to pay her nannies’ employer fees, trade minister Maria Borelius told several newspapers that she “would never have been able to afford all the fees.”

But according to Expressen, her businessman husband Greger Larsson earned 908,100 kronor in 1991, an income that rose in one year to 1.8 million kronor. Borelius herself ran her own company during the decade, earning a total of 3.8 million kronor in the period. The couple together earned 16.7 million kronor during the period.

Nor were Borelius and Larsson burdened with a big mortgage. The pair lived from 1993 in a house in the Stockholm district of Djursholm which Borelius inherited from her father. They sold the house in 1996 for over 4 million kronor.

Borelius was on Monday not commenting on the latest reports. She entered a Tuesday afternoon cabinet meeting at the Rosenbad government offices via the back door.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said that he did not think that Borelius’ claim that she could not afford the fees was a good explanation. But, he said, he still had faith in her abilities as a minister.

“She has assured me that she considers it to be wrong to use ‘black’ services, and that she does not intend to do so in the future. I have tolerated that as an answer.”

“It’s not good to use ‘black’ services, but it has become very usual in this country for people to take it for granted that this is how you have to live. All I can do is say that this is regrettable,” Reinfeldt said.