Top Moderate pays for 14 years of TV viewing

He has not paid his television licence fee for fourteen years, but now Moderate Party secretary Per Schlingmann's has settled his 21,000 kronor debt to the television licensing authority.

Radiotjänst i Kiruna, the company responsible for collecting the obligatory fees that finance Sweden’s public service radio and television, has said it has not yet decided whether to report Schlingmann to the police. It plans to wait for the results of police investigations into other Moderate politicians before deciding whether to press charges.

Migration minister Tobias Billström, ex-trade minister Maria Borelius and ex-culture minister Cecilia Stegö Chilò all admit not paying their licence fees.

Schlingmann succeeded Sven Otto Littorin as Moderate party secretary after the election. During the debate about the other ministers’ non-payment of the licence fee the Schlingmann family applied to pay the licence fee, something they had not done since 1992, despite owning a TV. The family put their omission down to “carelessness”.

The public debate over ministerial non payment of the licence fee led to a stream of licence applications from members of the public. During the debate, around 6,500 applications were received each week compared to the usual 1,000.

Among those applying were the Moderate chairman of the Riksdag’s social insurance committee, Gunnar Axén, and Expressen editor Otto Sjöberg.