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Government U-turn on cuts to student grants

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Government U-turn on cuts to student grants
Anders Borg interviewed in parliament. File photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/TT
13:54 CET+01:00
The Swedish government has pulled back from a much-criticized proposal to cut student grants, a budget saving that Rosenbad will now make up for with even higher alcohol taxes.

"I don't think it's so complicated that you have to, in the outline stage of a proposal, take one step forward, two back, and one to the side before you find a better way ahead," Finance Minister Anders Borg told the TT news agency on Friday. 

Borg said that the budget would instead aim to bring in tax kronor on alcohol and from environmental tax on vehicles. 

"I think it is better that you don't have to lower study grants, but instead can pull this money in through taxes," Borg said.

Borg had already defended his three-week old proposal several times when the prime minister announced on Thursday that it would be retracted.

The government had said it would cut the student grant by 300 kronor ($47) a month, but allow students to borrow 1,000 more than they can at present. It came on the heels of the student loans agency CSN raising the ceiling for how much students can earn from jobs on the side without it affecting their grant. The new ceiling was set a 14,100 kronor a month, which Borg said gave students greater leeway in managing their personal finances. 

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