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Sweden Democrats to cut foreign aid for welfare

AFP/The Local · 1 Jun 2010, 08:23

Published: 01 Jun 2010 08:23 GMT+02:00

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The party said their first shadow budget would "re-establish Swedish welfare and at the same time lower taxes."

The party has never held a seat in the Swedish parliament and a poll published Friday found it had 3.6 percent voter support, less than the four percent needed to enter parliament after September 19 elections. In the 2006 general election SD polled 2.93 percent of the vote.

The budget "mainly involves reallocating the funds of the expensive immigration policy and ineffective development aid to necessary welfare and safety commitments, and raising direct assistance to real refugees in the world," it said.

The party proposed cutting the number of refugees allowed into Sweden, along with immigration by relatives of foreigners, by 90 percent.

It also called for slashing Sweden's direct development aid but doubling its grants to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Story continues below…

The party said its planned reforms to Swedish immigration and asylum policy, and to international aid would save about 107.5 billion kronor ($13.7 billion) in one budget period.

The savings would allow it to lower taxes for the middle class and pensioners while raising unemployment and sick-leave benefits, it said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:58 June 1, 2010 by Nemesis
MIght be an idea worth considering.

It is unfortunate it was thought up by a bunch of nutcases, as no one will take it seriously due to coming from the far right.
09:22 June 1, 2010 by calebian22
They are no nuttier than the "sex is best with a feminist," feministerna party or the "let's cut the work week to nothing," vänster party. It's just in Sweden, if one looks out for the interest of Sweden, one is a bigot. This is a great idea, that will hopefully be picked up by more mainstream politicians.
10:43 June 1, 2010 by christo
let them not waste there time with there bugdet. 3.9 percent , have no seat in parliament. dont think that its is just putting ure bugdets there and u have no idea of how it will affect the community and which consequencese will prevail.
13:58 June 1, 2010 by Icarusty
Wooo, more benefits for the lazy arses! Be careful Svenska, you might end up like Britain.
15:09 June 1, 2010 by peropaco
Interesting. They maybe onto something and worthwhile looking into.. Quota for refugees 4 sure.....
15:30 June 1, 2010 by bheatrix
Every so called rightwing party pro-claims beeing anti taxe's. but when they come in to power and see how much money the tax generates they ofcourse don't plan on lowering it. what is needed is a fullblown revolution to end this tax crazed regime for good.

i do believe sd has a point concerning immigration.
16:27 June 1, 2010 by bbeynch
I agree with lower taxes and lower "refugee" quotas. (What a joke that is! Most "refugees" = economic travelers seeking welfare handouts). But I disagree with cutting international aid and higher benefits. Who do I vote for then?
01:09 June 2, 2010 by mjennin2
Now, this may be the (relatively conservative) American in me speaking, but this seems like common sense. It seems not only appropriate to me, but also circumstantially necessary, that a country would put it's own people's interests first, before others (refugees) in this day and age of lacking prosperity. I do understand and appreciate Sweden's long-standing affair with social responsibility and aid to the helpless, but it's just that..everything is already so expensive in Sweden to support it's social systems, and unemployment is so high already, that taxing people more to support the ever-increasing demand on it's social systems is entirely unsustainable. It's time to be a wee bit more frugal, tighten the purse strings and stabilize one's own country before going forward and offering aid to others. By lowering taxes, not only might that spur the economy (sh*t is cheaper) but it would most likely be more affordable to employee people which will serve as a double-benefit, as fewer people will require welfare. Do that for a while, and then raise taxes later so that the country can offer aid to others.

I kind of view this concept as I do when you're on an airplane watching the safety video before take off. When they get to the part about what to do if the cabin loses pressure, the always say adults should affix their own oxygen masks on themselves FIRST, before helping children do the same. On the one hand, the children are most helpless and need the most help...but if a parent doesn't take care of themselves first, they won't be able to help the child at all. I think Sweden needs to take care of it's own people first in order to be effective in helping others sustainably.

My $0.02.
03:35 June 2, 2010 by Davey-jo
The party with no support announced that it was in favour of getting at least some support so it said it would do anything to agree with everyone; OK? innit?
04:51 June 2, 2010 by JoeSwede
Sound like some good ideas. Another would be to encourage more Swedes to get a degree.

Sweden needs to recreate its industries and grow in the area of finance. Understanding, taking decisive steps to deal with real financial and developmental risk that we face in this world will only help Sweden. They should thank their lucky star that they don't have a large deficit. So obviously they're off to a good start in this area. I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion about Greece and the limits of the social welfare system. Soveriegn debt is nothing more than an attempt to hide debt by shoving it into the government and then postpone the payment into the future. As if no one would notice...
05:52 June 2, 2010 by rymagnusson
Lower taxes and higher benefits? That usually doesn't work very well.

If people want higher benefits, then they pay higher taxes. If they don't want these benefits, taxes go down. Trying to cut corners or use creative accounting don't end well.

Political strategies of promising both low taxes and high benefits are just empty promises to help get them elected.
08:10 June 2, 2010 by Marc the Texan
Seems like straight forward common sense to me too. Can't understand why reasonable ideas that might be in your own interest court such distrust and skepticism in mainstream Swedish politics.
09:18 June 2, 2010 by karex
Sounds good. However even good ideas go south when implemented in the wrong way, such as taking anything to extremes.

One troubling aspect is the reference to halt immigration of relatives of foreigners. Well, think about this for a moment: in the case of going too far or taking this literally as in ALL foreigners, it would in effect mean that those of us who are coming as expats for work purposes for instance, will have to choose between the wife/husband and kids OR the job.
11:09 June 2, 2010 by Sjayna
Sd, might be a good idea to turn to an calculation expert...What even worse is that the party of Inhumanity, Immorality and Supremacism stating its support for the UN/UNCRC wants to lower the penalty age from 15 to 12...Logical? Party leader Jimmie Åkessons answer: I DON'T KNOW. I don't think it is so INTERESTING....What a 'Brainy' guy! It's amazing that Sd people don't walk with bent-knees. However, you can be sure, they will never enter the Swedish parliament !
13:04 June 2, 2010 by karex

Actually it is a misconception that the only way to get benefits is to increase taxes. Especially Socialist governments end up fostering a mentality that raising taxes is the magical cure for all of the evils in the world.

You don't need creative accounting, but creativity does play a large part, more in the line of "think outside the established box". There is such a concept as shared responsibility. Where responsibility for society is shared by the government and the people.

In this case, on a more practical level. It is possible to decrease taxes and increase benefits. Large companies most especially could help a lot: the more benefits offered to their employees, the lower their tax burden could be (tax breaks). The companies benefit and therefore are able to create more jobs as well as helping to improve productivity by securing their employees health and well-being, not to mention making the company an attractive place to work and therefore attract better quality candidates. The employees of course benefit by being able to receive services, often of a private nature, quicker, more personal and more efficiently. The people who do not work for large compnies benefit by having less people crowding the public services therefore improving the quality and speed of the services they receive. The government wins by spending less money to maintain the services and by helping to stimulate the creation of more jobs without actually having to create them themselves (with tax money). It's a win-win for all involved...
10:07 June 4, 2010 by jwlundgren
There is a big difference between an educated expat working in Sweden wanting to bring his or her spouse and children and an economic refugee bringing in their 50 closest family members. (yes, that's an exaggeration, but you get the point).
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