Swedish ex-politicians get millions in payouts

Swedish ex-politicians get millions in payouts
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven pictured with his parliamentary colleagues in December 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT
The government changeover last autumn has cost the Swedish taxpayer a whopping 147 million kronor ($17 million) in severance payments for politicians and officials, it was revealed on Monday.

The elections last autumn, which saw Fredrik Reinfeldt's centre-right Alliance replaced by the Stefan Löfven’s Social Democrat-Green coalition, meant that several hundred members of parliament and officials lost their jobs.

All were entitled to some form of guaranteed income or severance pay, with the total bill so far reaching a whopping 147 million kronor, including social security fees.

The bulk of the payments are for those who served in government offices, including former ministers and political officials who have received payments totalling 115 million, according to Swedish news agency TT. The severance payments include a salary of 121,000 kronor per month up to a year.

Last autumn a total of 101 MPs left their seats, some voluntarily, while others were voted out. Seventy-one of them still retain their guaranteed income, costing the Swedish tax payer 32 million kronor.

Former parliamentary under-secretaries are also entitled to income support for up to two years, with 27 of the total 34 retaining all or part of their contribution since the election.

One of the number is former Centre Party secretary Anders Flanking who has received the full contribution since he left his job last autumn, equalling his salary of 94,000 kronor per month.

“At first, it’s a period when you're deciding what to do,” the politician told TT. “It should be something suitable, it’s not so strange. And there are jobs that cannot be taken immediately after the election as you are sitting on sensitive data. Since I do not live in Stockholm, it makes it more difficult.”

Another parliamentary under-secretary, Oscar Wåglund Söderström, is able to top up the salary from his new job that he started in April by 20,000 kronor to equal his former salary at Folkpartiet (the Liberal People’s Party).

Meanwhile, political experts in government offices are entitled to their salary of between 40,000 and 60,000 kronor per month for up to one year.

SEE ALSO: Do you understand how Sweden is being run?

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