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Sweden Democrats to cut foreign aid for welfare

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08:23 CEST+02:00
Sweden's small far-right Sweden Democrat (SD) party presented a shadow budget on Monday pledging lower taxes and higher benefits, to be financed by cutting international aid and refugee quotas.

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).

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.

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