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'Foreign staff benefit from restaurant VAT cut'

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'Foreign staff benefit from restaurant VAT cut'
Chefs in action. File photo: USDAgov/Flickr
08:09 CET+01:00
A nine-percent increase in jobs in the Swedish restaurant industry has mostly benefited the young and employees born abroad, a review of jobs statistics from 2012 has shown.

Restaurant industry association Visita trawled jobs figures from Statistics Sweden, the official statistics bureau in Sweden, to look at who had stood to gain from the slash in restaurant VAT. The review showed that young people and employees born abroad had taken on the lion's share of the 8,000 news jobs created in the sector in 2012,

Visita has, however, been criticized in the past for politicizing statistics, the TT news agency noted.

On Thursday, the Visita CEO said that the upswing was proof that the centre-right government's move to cut the restaurant VAT had had the desired effect of jobs creation. The 8,000 news jobs represent a nine-percent increase in employment opportunities. Half of the jobs went to jobseekers younger than 24, while 3,000 new staff members were born abroad. 

The government's decision to cut restaurant VAT would be reversed by a left-wing government if the Social Democrats win the September elections. The main opposition party has said that reinstating VAT would be used to finance a 90-day jobs or education guarantee for young out-of-work Swedes.

The Visita CEO on Thursday lamented the effects of any such reform.

"The restaurant industry is an important road into the labour market for both young people and people born abroad," Eva Östling said, adding that reinstated VAT would hit those two groups the hardest, especially if a left-wing government also increased employers'  social security contributions for young staff.
 

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