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More money for parents and less for smokers in 2012

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More money for parents and less for smokers in 2012
12:59 CET+01:00
Tobacco users in Sweden will have to dig deeper into their wallets as another tax increase comes into force in the new year, while parental leave benefits as well as housing allowances are set to increase starting on January 1st.

The government has presented about 50 important laws and regulations that will take effect in 2012, or have already been implemented during the autumn.

One of the most popular cuts is the lowering of the value added tax (VAT) at restaurants from 25 to 12 percent.

Swedes making charitable donations will also see a tax reduction.

On October 1st, a new law to prevent stalking came into force, with the first conviction under the new law coming in mid-December.

The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs has presented protections against high fees withing the public health care system and for pharmaceuticals, as well as an increase in housing allowance benefits.

The regulations regarding parental leave will also change to enable both parents to stay home together with an infant for 30 days, within the child's first year.

To make it more attractive for people to sublet their homes, the standard tax deduction has been raised from 18,000 kronor ($2,600) to 21,000 kronor a year.

And drunk drivers will be able to avoid having their drivers licenses revoked following new rules whereby they are instead required to install alcolocks in their cars.

New taxes will cause the price of a pack of cigarettes to climb from 48 kronor ($7) to 51 kronor, while a 45 gramme canister of wet snuff, or snus, will go from 47 kronor to 49 kronor.

As of November 1st, a new law complimenting a European regulations on the trade of seal products came into effect.

According to the new law, the sale of seal products within the European Union is only allowed if they come from "the traditional hunting which the Inuit communities and other indigenous people conducts and which contributes to subsistence."

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