Politician got benefits for son working abroad

The Swedish police are looking into whether a Swedish municipal politician committed benefit fraud by paying his sons to be his personal assistants when one of them was studying abroad.

The man is suspected of redirecting about 3 million kronor ($475,000) by stating that his two sons were working as his personal assistants, while one was actually studying in Australia. The other was working as a store manager.

The politician, who uses a wheelchair, runs a personal assistance company. He made payments to his two sons during a period of several years.

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan), the body that makes benefit payments, worked with the Tax Authority (Skatteverket) to compare documents. When the suspected fraud was uncovered, the documents were forwarded to the police, reported the local Söderhamns-Kuriren newspaper.

The Moderate Party politician, who is a substitute member (ersättare) of the steering committee of Söderhamn municipality in northern Sweden, has now taken a time-out.

“Nobody should be judged before there is conclusive evidence,” his party colleague Hans Sundgren told Söderhamns-Kuriren.

“But of course the entire story is sad, this kind of stuff makes people hate politicians even more.”

The politician himself said he would await the outcome of the police investigation before deciding whether to make his political time out permanent or not.

TT/The Local/at

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Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime