Poll: Swedes prefer paying high taxes

Poll: Swedes prefer paying high taxes
Photo: Henrik Trygg, http://imagebank.sweden.se/
It’s no secret that Swedes love their welfare state, but a new study shows they are more than willing to accept higher taxes to finance it.

According to a study commissioned by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), 90 percent of Swedes prefer high-quality social welfare over lower taxes.

And nearly as many Swedes, around 80 percent, are willing to pay higher taxes for better healthcare, schools, and care for the elderly.

“It shows that there is great confidence in our sector’s work,” said Anette Åkesson of SALAR’s welfare financing committee, in a statement.

“At the same time, we’re facing a situation where fewer are paying for more services, and where expectations for welfare services continue to increase steadily. That means that we must raise taxes by an excessive amount if we don’t find alternative and complimentary financing options,” she added.

SALAR expects Sweden’s population to add 870,000 residents by 2030, of which only 75,000 will be active in the workforce. With higher demand and rising costs for social services, combined with fewer paying into the system, SALAR estimates that a 10 percent increase in Sweden’s already high tax burden is needed to finance the country’s welfare state in 2030.

The study, conducted by the polling firm Synovate, consisted of 1,026 telephone interviews with people ages 16 and older carried out between February 4th and 7th.