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TAX

Swedes pay less tax than the Danes and French

A new report has revealed that Sweden has dropped to fourth place in the EU when it comes to the amount of tax that its citizens pay.

Swedes pay less tax than the Danes and French

Nordic neighbours Denmark along with Belgium and France pay more tax each year reports Sveriges Radio. Sweden has regularly topped the list for the nation with the highest EU tax rate with income taxes of 50 percent of GDP. 

However, that figure has now dropped to 45 percent which is estimated to be a 100 billion kronor ($15 billion) reduction into the tax system.

"This is the outcome of the economic policies implemented over the last few years which set out to reduce taxes as share of the economy," said Daniel Waldenström, professor of Economics with Uppsala University to SR.

In September the Swedish government announced plans to slash taxes for the fifth time since taking office in 2006.

The latest round of tax credits will be worth around 350 kronor ($53) for those earning an average salary of around 27,000 kronor per month. Sweden's government has claimed that the tax cuts will generate an estimated 13,000 jobs.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in October that the Swedish economy was its strongest for 40 years.

His attempts to bring in a lower tax rate for high earners was canned after the government lost a vote by a narrow margin in December.

Sweden's Riksbank cut the country's repo rate by 0.25 percentage points to 0.75 percent in December citing lower than expected inflation.

The EU average for tax to GDP ratio is 40 percent with analysts saying that Sweden could reach that mark within a decade if the present rate of tax cuts continues.

"The tax cuts could push Sweden closer to some sort of breaking point," added Waldenström to SR.

Danes pay the most tax in EU followed by Belgium and France.  

The Local/pr

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ECONOMY

Swedish bank’s IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

A technical problem at Sweden's Swedbank on Thursday night gave customers a nasty surprise, with their account balances inexplicably going negative, payments impossible, and Swish payments no longer working.

Swedish bank's IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

By 11.30pm, more than 2,000 Swedbank customers had reported the fault to the site Downdetector, and the problem was still not solved by 17.00pm on Friday. 

“We have an ongoing IT disruption where certain customers see an incorrect balance on their accounts,” a message on the bank’s app read. “The reason is a planned update to our internal systems which went wrong. We apologise, of course, for that and are working as quickly as possible to fix the problem.” 

The Swish payment service has also been affected, with the service, which is owned collectively by Swedish banks, reporting on its site that there was a “technical disruption at Swedbank and Sparbank which might affect Swish payments from these banks”. 

Some Swedbank customers posted their negative account balances on Twitter, expressing shock at the incorrect figures. 

The disruption comes at the worst possible time for many Swedes. Many people are paid on the 25th of the month, meaning this Friday marks the start of the payday weekend. Many will have also scheduled their bill payments for this Friday. 

Marko Saric from Malmö saw his account balance drop by 1.2 million kronor, going half a million kronor into the red. 

“It’s just totally crazy,” he told SVT. “We were going to go out and shop for the weekend. It’s lovely weather and the kids want to go out, but we can’t use our card. We’ve got no cash. Everything is in the bank.” 

“You’re just completely blocked. Colleagues need to make emergency food parcels for you. It’s just crazy that something like this should happen.” 

In its statement, the bank assured customers that their money was “secure”, and that the bank still had the correct information on what their account balance should be. 

“Customers who feel that they have suffered economic damage as a result of the disruption should contact the bank,” the message said.

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