‘Cut taxes to boost competition’: Experts

'Cut taxes to boost competition': Experts
Sweden's Globalisation Council, an office under the Swedish Ministry of Education and Science, has proposed 28 billion kronor ($3.8 billion) in reforms to taxes and social insurances in its final report published on Monday.

The tax reform would result in significantly fewer Swedes paying higher state marginal taxes with this group set to decline from 30 percent to 10 percent of the workforce.

The council proposes major investments in training and education, including English language instruction from the age of six, as well as qualitative reforms within the public sector to include increased competition and choice within healthcare.

The council would also like to see cross-party agreement on tax and social insurance reforms to ensure their broad support.

In all, the council proposes reforms amounting to 40 billion kronor ($5.4 billion), including the tax cuts of 28 billion kronor, research and education worth 9 billion kronor, and infrastructure and other reforms adding up to 3 billion kronor.

The tax proposal also includes a recommendation to remove the so-called temporary austerity levy (värnskatt).

“Competition for qualified labour is a reality. There are people who choose between researching in Sweden or somewhere else, for example , which makes the levy a big problem,” explained the council’s chairperson Lars Leijonborg.

The council would also like to see the development of a “head office” strategy and argues that Sweden should no longer be satisfied with attracting only subsidiaries of international companies.

The reality of climate change should be capitalized on to boost Sweden, the council argues. Investments in energy research and a nationwide infrastructure of charging stations could help Sweden become a pioneer within the electric car sector, says the council.

The Globalisation Council began its work in December 2006 and is made up of 22 representatives of the business community, employee and employer groups, the academic community, culture and the arts, and politics.

“The fact that the council is fully or almost fully in agreement on a wide range of recommendations is promising. How Sweden adapts to globalisation is decisive for Sweden’s future,” Lars Leijonborg said in a statement on Monday.

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