Green Party abandons ‘citizen income’ goal

Green Party abandons 'citizen income' goal
Sweden's Green Party has discarded its long-standing policy of a guaranteed minimum income, or 'citizenship income', according to a decision at the party's congress in Västerås in eastern Sweden.

The party has replaced the police with a vision that all those who lack income should be guaranteed financial support that is sufficient to live on.

The party leadership was forced into to a retreat on several other issues.

The congress voted by large majority to establish the ambition that the party should aim to reduce the normal working time to 35 hours per week, at odds with party executive proposal.

The executive was unwilling to set any concrete goals for reducing working hours, but delegates voted to set this level at 35 hours.

In a slightly more surprising move, the leadership suffered a setback on the issue of employer contributions for young people under 26, which have been progressively by the current Alliance government to around half of what they were in 2006.

Congress voted to return these levels to the same as for other age groups within the workforce, in direct contradiction to the executive’s position.

The issue of profits for companies operating public welfare services proved contentious with the congress voting by 152 votes to 63, in favour of the party program including the words “any profits will be reinvested in the business”.

The issue is potentially a major election issue, with widespread support among the populace for restricting profits within the public services sector.

Party spokesperson Gustav Fridolin however took the setbacks in his stride, stating that they should be taken as evidence that the Green Party is a vibrant democracy.

“Sometimes decisions go against the executive, this is a decision we will take forward and will become the basis of our manifesto and the policy positions that we will adopt,” he said.

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