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Moderates plan to combat child poverty

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Moderates plan to combat child poverty
14:51 CET+01:00
Raising employment rates and offering high-quality daycare for all, not directed subsidies, are the keys to lowering child poverty levels in Sweden, according to the governing Moderate Party.

The Moderates are for the first time planning to take a closer look at issues related to children in Sweden. Social security minister Ulf Kristersson will be heading up the party's child issues team.

"We've never really examined the overal image of how children in Sweden are doing," Kristersson told news agency TT.

The mission statement of the Moderates' child issues team proclaims that society is responsible for "inasmuch as possible giving all children equal opportunities," and for trying to even out differences in living conditions.

The team has its work cut out for it.

Organization Save the Children (Rädda barnen) recently published a report showing that child poverty is on the rise in Sweden. And according to statistics institute SCB, income differences have grown since the 1980s, with a steep increase in the past five years.

Single mothers were singled out as a particularly vulnerable group by the report.

"It's good that Save the Children has studied the conditions for children growing up in relative poverty. But I think they're too quick to jump to the conclusion of raising subsidies targeted towards these groups," Kristersson said.

Politicians have no business getting involved in parents' divorces, he maintained.

However, politicians can demand that parents take more economic responsibility for previous children when starting a new family.

"Just doing the easy thing, raising several subsidies so these families catch up a little risks making everything worse, by making it even less meaningful to work," Kristersson said.

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