• Sweden's news in English

Spring budget warns of tough times ahead

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 15 Apr 2009, 09:54

Published: 15 Apr 2009 09:54 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

As the parliament prepares to debate the spring budget proposal on Wednesday finance minister Anders Borg emphasized the precarious financial situation and warned of tough times ahead.

"Probably the worst (situation) in the world economy since the depression," Borg said to news agency TT on Wednesday.

"The government's job in this situation is to safeguard the public finances and core welfare services as well to hinder the advance of unemployment," he continued.

With a recent forecast indicating that unemployment is set to top 11.7 percent in 2011 the government is set to present a budget focused on helping the unemployed and young into work.

The public employment agency's (Arbetsförmedlingen) costs are expected to rise from 16 billion kronor ($1.95 billion) in 2008 to 42 billion in 2011.

The government will therefore increase provisions in the spring budget for unemployment insurance payments by 10 billion kronor for 2009 and allocate an extra 781 million to the jobs guarantee scheme.

"We are now going to conduct a significant update of labour-market measures. It is a question of 45-95 billion kronor over the coming years," Anders Borg said.

The number of places in the job guarantee program is expected to expand by 100,000 on the government's projection in the autumn budget.

By 2011 around 250,000 Swedes are expected to be engaged in various employment training programs, up from an average 85,000 in 2008.

The government proposals have been roundly criticized by the opposition Social Democrats.

"What the government is now doing is hiding 220,000 people in purely passive programs, those that are typically called job and development guarantees. It is an unfortunate strategy as it excludes people and humiliates people," Thomas Östros, the Social Democrat finance policy spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Story continues below…

Anders Borg responded that sound state finances must come first and refused to get into a bidding war with the opposition. He underlined that the budget initiatives were not simply an attempt to massage the statistics.

Borg underlined that the crisis is not over and new surprises could be around the corner. He did not rule out raising taxes to shore up public finances but underlined that it is not something that is currently under consideration.

The government's macro-economic forecasts were presented in the beginning of April and the figures presented in the spring budget were in line with prior projections.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

What's on in Sweden
Five great autumn events in Sweden this week
Jazz in northern Sweden. Photo: Umeå Jazz Festival

Food, music, movies and more food. What better way of helping yourself forget that the days are getting shorter and colder?

Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available