Social Democrats ‘cannot reverse benefit cuts’

The cuts in benefits introduced by Sweden's new government cannot be reversed, former Social Democratic Finance Minister Pär Nuder has said.

A Social Democratic government after the next election in 2010 would not be able to afford to raise taxes to finance rises in unemployment benefits, he said.

Nuder’s view was contained in an internal memo seen by Fokus magazine. The benefit cuts have led to vocal protests from unions, particularly the LO confederation, which funds the Social Democrats.

The ex-finance minister also said that the government’s tax break on workers would have to remain.

“It would be hard for us to combat the claim that ‘the socialists want to raise taxes for normal workers,'” he said in the document.

Nuder also said that his party’s school policies were self-righteous and had failed.