Opposition touts tax cuts to fuel employment

Opposition touts tax cuts to fuel employment
Sweden's left-green opposition parties have vowed to cut general payroll taxes (arbetsgivaravgifter) for small businesses by 8 billion kronor over the next two years in a bid to stimulate employment if they are elected into government this autumn.

The cut would cost the exchequer 2 billion kronor in 2011 and 6 billion kronor in 2012. For companies with two to three employees, the reform will mean a saving of 40,000 kronor a year, write the leaders of the Social Democrats, Left Party and Green Party in an article in Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet.

The coalition also proposes the introduction of a tax break that will cancel out the cost of general payroll taxes for companies employing people aged 20 to 25, a group over-represented in unemployment statistics.

The parties also pledge to invest “100 billion kronor more than the government” in the transport sector over the next ten years, with a “clear focus” on railways and public transport.

Citizens striving for better energy efficiency in the home are also to be rewarded, with tax deductions for home repairs and maintenance (ROT-avdrag) being extended to include renovations in rental properties that are geared towards lower energy use.

Home owners making their houses and apartments more energy efficient will also be able to avail themselves of the deduction. The proposed expansion of the home repair deduction system will cost 1.7 billion kronor in 2011 and 2.9 billion kronor in 2012, write Mona Sahlin (SocDem), Lars Ohly (Left), Maria Wetterstand (Green) and Peter Eriksson (Green).

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