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Far-right politicians 'live on state handouts'

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12:08 CEST+02:00
One in three politicians from the far-right Sweden Democrats live on state handouts, it has been calculated. The party is now being accused of hypocrisy; it frequently slams immigrants for living on benefits.

The findings were made by tabloid Aftonbladet. It found that Sweden Democrat politicians have received 3.7 million kronor in benefits from the Swedish Social Insurance Administration since August last year. ($540,000).

In its campaign literature, the party has complained that twice as many immigrants are in state-funded early retirement than native Swedes.

Ten percent of immigrants live on these sorts of benefits, the party has said, but Thursday's report shows that the figure for Sweden Democrat politicians is fully 20 percent. One third of party representatives are dependent on some form of benefit.

Party leader Jimmie Åkesson said it was wrong to compare Sweden Democrats to immigrants on the benefits question.

"The fact that many of our representatives are early-retired is partly down to the fact that groups that seek out new political movements do so because they are dissatisfied and feel unfairly treated by the old parties," he told Aftonbladet.

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