The Local’s guide to the Swedish parties’ election promises

The Local's guide to the Swedish parties' election promises
Sweden’s party leaders: Jonas Sjöstedt, Isabella Lövin, Stefan Löfven, Ulf Kristersson, Annie Lööf, Ebba Busch Thor, Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
With only days to go to Sunday's Swedish parliamentary election, The Local has taken a closer look at what the main parties vow to do in exchange for your vote, and where exactly they stand on issues like migration, jobs, education, and the environment.

The Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna)

Main Priority: Inclusion, closing the gap between the rich and the poor

Prime Minister and Social Democrat party leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

How they plan to do it:

Jobs and welfare: Full-time contracts should be the norm and temporary job contracts the exception. Wants to earmark at least 20 billion kronor ($2.2 billion) to create “tens of thousands” of new jobs, improve conditions for start-up companies, improve funding for small- and midsized companies. Hike taxes on banks. Crack down on tax evaders.

School and education: Nationalize the school system. Hire more teachers and teaching aides. Ban mobile phones in classrooms. Create 100,000 new places via adult education programme “Kunskapslyftet”.

Migration and integration: Retain existing restrictions on the number of asylum seekers Sweden accepts until the European Union agrees on a joint quota system that is perceived as “fair and proportionate”. Ensure that a person who has been rejected asylum leaves Sweden. Make it compulsory for immigrants and asylum seekers to attend Swedish classes. Restrict labour migration. 

Environment and infrastructure: Increase local climate investments, continue to support industrial companies to switch to fossil-free energy production. Wants to invest in electric highways, charging stations for electric vehicles, more bike paths and public transport systems. Aims for Sweden to be 100 percent powered by renewable electricity production by 2040. Invest 700 billion kronor within the next 10 year period to maintain and expand roads and railway lines in rural areas, and build more high-speed train lines across the country. Ensure that 95 percent of Sweden's households and companies have internet broadband access of at least 100 Mbit/s by the year 2020.

Healthcare: Wants to ban profit-making private actors in the healthcare system. Improve quality and cut waiting times by hiring 14,000 more healthcare workers by 2022. Invest “billions” in general practitioner surgeries (vårdcentraler) in order to extend the opening hours, open more local emergency wards (närakuter), and to make more ambulances, ambulance helicopters available.

Seniors: Raise pensions by at least 5,000 kronor per person per year for the poorest pensioners. Build more retirement homes.

Crime and security: Employ 10,000 more police officers by 2024, increase camera surveillance, ban unregistered pay-as-you-go mobile phone services, increase the minimum sentence for rape, criminalize links to terror organizations, allow security services access to read encrypted data traffic and prevent foreign hate-preachers from entering Sweden.

More: Add one more week of parental leave per year per parent (for parents with children aged between four and 16), free entry into regional museums, against a Nato membership.

The Moderate Party (Moderaterna)

Main Priority: Migration, law and order

Moderates party leader Ulf Kristersson. Photo Henrik Montgomery / TT

How they plan to do it:

Jobs and welfare: Cut income taxes by 500 kronor per person per month. Scrap income taxes for teachers and nurses. Stricter conditions on getting unemployment benefits, with stricter time lines. Scrap the Swedish Public Employment Service and replace it with a smaller, more efficient government agency. Open up for private actors to match jobseekers with available jobs. Create more jobs by tripling RUT (Cleaning, Maintenance and Laundry) tax deductions to 75,000 kronor per person per year. Reduce the bureaucracy for small companies. Make it more favourable for companies to move to Sweden, rather than leaving it.

School and education: Wants mandatory schooling to start at age six, and the elementary schooling period to last for 10 years. Wants to add one more hour of taught classes per school day. Wants to close down schools that report poor results. Hire more teachers and give them higher salaries, particularly for those working in problem areas. Implement a programme to recruit teachers from abroad. Tighten the admission requirements for teacher training programmes. Raise the age limit for student aid and increase student aid benefits. It also wants to increase the number of available places within Higher Vocational Training (Yrkeshögskolan and Yrkesvux).

Migration and integration: Wants Sweden to welcome a lower number of asylum seekers than it has in recent years, with temporary residence permits being the rule. To obtain permanent residency permits, the person must be able to support himself/herself and have a good knowledge of Swedish and Swedish society. Wants the EU to establish a joint quota migrant system. Wants the possibility of revoking citizenship for holders who have committed crimes against the state or who have lied on their citizenship application. Increase the number of enforced deportations and increase the number of controls of illegal immigrants within Sweden. Wants the average processing time for a citizenship application to be extended to seven years from the current five. Swedish benefits shall only be granted to those who work or who permanently and legally reside in Sweden. Wants to introduce “talent visas” for people with specific knowledge or expertise and end deportations of skilled workers.

Environment and infrastructure: Slash pollution by implementing climate deductions for industrial companies, invest in green infrastructure such as charging stations for electric vehicles, support a “green” adaption of the aviation industry, tighten Sweden's recycling goals, improve the conditions for Swedish hydro power systems, keep nuclear power as Sweden's main energy provider. Wants to develop Swedish railways and maintain those already existing. Abolish the aviation tax. Continue to provide all Swedes with internet broadband access.

Healthcare: Cut waiting times by reintroducing the so-called “kömiljarden” – a state-funded programme that financially rewards county councils that can keep their waiting lines down. Extend primary healthcare services. Educate more midwives, make it easier for nurses to specialize.

Seniors: Cut taxes for pensioners, and make it more profitable for older people who want to continue to work.

Crime and security: Employ at least 10,000 police officers by 2024. Raise the salary for police officers by an average of 3,000 kronor per month, make police training free, increase the minimal sentence for rape and assaults on security service staff, extend the statute of limitations of sexual assault crimes and remove it altogether for sexual assault crimes against minors, increase camera surveillance. Wants more foreign convicts to be deported, and sentences should be served in their country of origin. Wants to introduce a national ban on begging and ban pro-violence groups.

More: Supports Nato membership. Wants to shorten the processing times for gun licenses. Proposes a gender-neutral family law. Ensure that Swedish tax payers' money never fund organizations that don't respect basic Swedish democratic values.

The Greens (Miljöpartiet)

Main priority: Climate change, integration

Party leaders of the Greens, Isabella Lövin and Gustav Fridolin. Photo: Henrik Montgomery / TT

How they plan to do it:

Jobs and welfare: Reduce the eight-hour working day. Make it easier for start-ups by lowering taxes for small companies and reducing bureaucracy through digitalization. Offer financial support for start-ups and industries willing to go green. Wants to implement a “green tax reform” which is more circular and which closes the gap between rich and poor.

School and education: Work for a more equal education system, and diminish school segregation. Invest in school libraries with educated staff. Make more space for culture and the arts and reintroduce culture and art subjects in high schools. Increase the number of places available on adult vocational programmes.

Migration and integration: Humane policies that protects the rights of asylum. Allow for the granting of permanent residency permits for those in need of special protection and take those who are old or sick into special consideration. Allow a greater number of young migrants who have special ties to Sweden to stay in the country. Families should have the right to reunite with family members. Shorten the process times for people seeking asylum or working visas. Make education more easily accessible for migrants, especially women.

Environment and infrastructure: Wants Sweden to become the first fossil fuel free country in the world. Invest more in renewable energies. Implement a tax on imported meats where antibiotics have been overused. Abolish the prospecting and new exploitation of fossil fuels, phase out subsidies for fossil energy. Work for sustainable fishing and protect Swedish seas and waters. Strengthen the protection of animals. Reduce chemical use in the clothing and textile industries, and recycle more clothes. Encourage organic farming. Ban large restaurants and food suppliers from throwing away eatable foods. Build more high-speed train lines and improve the national railway network. Introduce an electric car bonus in areas where access to public transport is poor. Extend Sweden's fibre- and mobile phone network across the country. Hike the aviation tax. Build more charging stations for electrical vehicles and invest in the production and distribution of green fuels. Develop Sweden's bicycle path network.

Healthcare: Develop the primary care service network and increase the possibility of digital care. Cut waiting times for healthcare.

Family: Increase the financial support for single parents. Split parental leave into three parts, where one third can be attributed to either of the two legal parents or to a third party close to the family (friend/relative). Make family law gender-neutral.

Seniors: Increase pensions for the poorest, abolish the pension tax.

Crime and security: Have more police officers with ties to the areas they patrol. Tougher sentences for those recruiting young people for criminal activity. Make public transport safer, with more streetlights, more flexible stops and a larger number of “travel safety hosts”.

More: Defends women's right to abortion, wants Sweden's Sami population to have greater influence, wants Sweden to stop its arms exports to countries at war as well as dictatorships. Staunchly opposes Nato membership.

Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterna)

Main priority: Healthcare, families

Christian Democrats leader Ebba Busch Thor. Photo: Jessica Gow / TT

How they plan to do it:

Jobs and welfare: Introduce a new type of entry-level jobs (inträdesjobb) with a lower starting salary, but which don't require a high school diploma. Wants to double the income tax reduction for those who are particularly vulnerable on the labour market. Scrap the Swedish Public Employment Service Agency. Create more jobs by tripling RUT (Cleaning, Maintenance and Laundry) deductions to 75,000 kronor per person per year, and increase the number of services available through RUT.

Family: Abolish parental leave quotas and let the parents decide how to divide it between themselves. Lower taxes for families with children. Introduce an income tax reduction of 500 kronor per month per parent, introduce the housing allowance for families who are less well off, improve the retirement conditions for parents, introduce an allowance for parents who stay home with children aged between one and three.

Schools and education: Create 18,000 adult vocational studies places within a four-year period.

Migration and integration: Wants benefits to be conditioned by learning Swedish, learning about the Swedish society and learning a job. Those who apply for Swedish citizenship also need to have knowledge of Swedish society. A person granted asylum shall be given a temporary residency permit with the right to reunite with family members. The Swedish state shall bear the costs for all new arrivals for the first three years.

Healthcare: Increase the number of hospital beds, develop the primary care service network so that everyone can see a doctor or nurse within 24 hours, extend opening hours for outpatient clinics. Let the state take over local health care responsibilities from the county councils, cut waiting times by reintroducing “kömiljarden” (a state-funded programme that financially rewards county councils that can keep their waiting lines down), implement health service teams that can relieve medical personnel with less complicated tasks.

Seniors: Abolish the pension tax and lower the tax for elderly who want to keep working, build more elderly homes, introduce a “billion for the elderly”, increase the housing supplementary allowance by 500 kronor for elderly singles and 300 kronor per person in couples, limit the number of different caregivers tending to an elderly person receiving domiciliary care to ensure quality and continuity.

Crime and security: Employ an additional 10,000 police officers and increase salaries for police officers. Increase the sentences for assault and sexual assault crimes, abolish the possibility for convicts to be released after serving two-thirds of their sentence, increase camera surveillance.

The Liberals (Liberalerna)

Main priority: Schools and education

The Liberals party leader Jan Björklund. Photo Johan Nilsson / TT

How they plan to do it:

Jobs and welfare: Lower income taxes and taxes on entrepreneurs. Introduce a new type of entry-level jobs with a lower starting salary and without employer contribution fees, but which don't require a high school diploma. Abolish employer contribution fees for those who hire young people and newly arrived migrants. Lower taxes for those who go from benefits to work. Stricter conditions for receiving benefits and implement a limit to how much a person can receive. Scrap the Swedish Public Employment Service and replace it with a smaller, more efficient government agency. Raise salaries for female-dominated jobs, including that of teachers, midwives and nurses.

Family: Make parental leave more flexible with the option of taking out fewer days with higher compensation, allow for parents to divide their days with a third party.

School and education: Make Swedish schools among the world's top 10 within 10 years. Nationalize the school system, but let private schools remain. Hike teachers' salaries and increase quality by reforming the teacher training programme. Recruit more teacher assistants, ban mobile phones in the classroom. Introduce grades on student behaviour. Grades should be implemented from year four. Extend the elementary schooling to 10 years and increase the number of teaching hours. Close down poorly performing schools and increase the teacher salaries in vulnerable areas. Newly arrived students need to be distributed over more schools and should be able to spend more time in school to learn Swedish. Strengthen the access to school libraries and students should be encouraged to read quality literature and literary classics. Stop the establishment of new religious schools, and those already existing should not be able to expand. Ban gender-dividing classes unless there are pedagogical reasons.

Migration and integration: Swedish migration laws shall be in line with those of other EU countries until the EU develops joint asylum rules. Stop deportations of skilled workers and make it easier for those who want to come to Sweden to work or study to stay. Introduce a “start-up” visa for entrepreneurs, and make it easier for highly qualified people to come to Sweden. Introduce mandatory Swedish classes in preschool for children to newly arrived migrants. Stricter requirements on attendance and results in adult Swedish language classes (SFI). Those applying for citizenship need to take Swedish language and Swedish society tests. Migrants on parental leave will also be expected to learn Swedish. 

Environment and infrastructure: Make those polluting the environment pay for their own pollution, abolish the aviation tax and replace it with a greenhouse emission fee for the aviation industry. Work towards a fossil-free energy system by keeping Sweden's nuclear energy production. Invest more in climate smart transport such as trains, bicycle paths and charging stations for electric vehicles. Implement a cost on plastic bags.

Healthcare: Expand the primary care service network, cut waiting times by reintroducing “kömiljarden” (a state-funded programme that financially rewards county councils that can keep their waiting lines down). Raise salaries for specialist nurses and recruit more healthcare assistants. Invest in digitalizing care on a national level.

Seniors: Lower taxes on pensions, increase the housing supplement allowance for those with the lowest pensions, make it easier and more profitable for those who want to work for longer.

Crime and security: Increase the number of police officers to 25,000, and raise the salaries for police officers by an average of 4,000 kronor per month. Criminalize ties with terror networks. Increase the sentences for rape. Increase camera surveillance in vulnerable areas. Wants crimes committed by minors below the age of 15 to always be investigated by police.

More: Two percent of Sweden's GDP shall be earmarked for Sweden's defence within 10 years. Pro-Nato. Wants the EU to abandon Turkey's admission talks.

Centre Party (Centerpartiet)

Main priority: Integration and jobs


Centre Party leader Annie Lööf. Photo Janerik Henriksson / TT

How they plan to do it:

Jobs and welfare: Lower income taxes. Reduce employer contribution fees and abolish them altogether for companies that hire their first employee, or who take on a person who has never worked before. Introduce a new type of entry-level jobs with a lower starting salary and without employer contribution fees but which don't require a high school diploma. Create more jobs by tripling RUT (Cleaning, Maintenance and Laundry) deductions to 75,000 kronor per person per year. Make it easier and less bureaucratic to start up a company. Scrap the Swedish Public Employment Service and replace it with independent recruiting companies. Reduce the time-period for unemployment benefits. Make it easier for older people in the workforce to reeducate themselves by making funding for studies more accessible to them.

School and education: Improve teacher quality by reforming the teaching training programme, raise salaries for teachers. Elementary schooling should last for 10 years and the number of taught hours should be increased.

Migration and integration: Those who are in need of protection should be granted asylum, while those who have been rejected should rapidly be deported. Shorten the asylum process. Mandatory classes in the Swedish language and society. Replace the so-called “establishment allowance” (etableringsersättningen) for newly arrived migrants with a loan similar to that of a Swedish student loan. Wants people to qualify for access to the Swedish welfare system, via work or by how long they have lived in Sweden. Wants to introduce integration preschools, where the child goes to preschool while the parents learn Swedish (SFI). Introduce “talent visas” for people with specific knowledge or expertise and end so-called “competence deportations”.

Environment and infrastructure: Introduce a fee for those buying non-green vehicles and implement a bonus for those who buy green vehicles. Invest in more charging stations for electric vehicles. Increase funding for green and renewable energy production. Abolish energy taxes on electrified public transport. Invest in bicycle paths. Develop and maintain the Swedish railway network. Wants all Swedes to have access to fast broadband services by 2025. Invest in high-speed train lines. Increase funding for a switch-over to a climate-friendly biobased economy. Improve the conditions for Swedish farmers, with lower costs associated with farming and reduced bureaucracy. Introduce “green deductions” for households investing in climate smart solutions. Continue the development of renewable energy production. Phase out fossil fuels and materials. Increase taxes on the use of hazardous chemicals. Introduce a “blue billion” to protect Sweden's seas and waters, and introduce a tax on plastic bags.

Healthcare: Slash waiting times by reintroducing the so-called “kömiljarden” – a state-funded programme that financially rewards county councils that can keep their waiting lines down. Extend primary health care services. Make it easier and more profitable for nurses to specialize.

Seniors: Increase pensions for the poorest. Lower taxes for seniors and make it more profitable for people to work for longer.

Crime and security: Educate more police officers and raise salaries for police officers. Make the police force more efficient (drawing inspiration from NYPD) with clear goals and follow-ups. More reported cases of violence against women and sexual assault crimes need to lead to trial and convictions, and sentences of such crimes should be longer. Wants to increase sentences for sexual crimes against children and abolish the statute of limitations for such crimes. Criminalize ties with terror networks. Increase sentences for terror-related crimes.

More: Defence efforts should constitute two percent of GDP in the long term. Supports Nato membership.

The Left Party (Vänsterpartiet)

Main priority: Equality

Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt. Photo: Pontus Lundahl / TT

How they plan to do it:

Jobs and welfare: Wants to introduce a six-hour working day. Believes full-time contracts should be the norm and temporary job contracts the exception. Advocates equal pay for equal jobs between men and women. Higher salaries in female-dominated industries. Wants to strengthen the role of Swedish unions, and give everyone the right to be included in collective agreements. Increase unemployment and sick leave benefits. Wants to raise taxes on the banking sector and introduce taxes on financial transactions to reduce short-term speculation. Make trade agreements more transparent. Reduce salaries for politicians. Introduce a “millionaire tax”. Phase out the home mortgage interest deduction and get rid of the RUT (Cleaning, Maintenance and Laundry) deduction.

Family: Parental leave shall be equally divided between parents.

School and education: Deprivatize the school system. Education shall be free from religion and segregation. Increase the allowance part of study assistance grants. All schools should have a library.

Migration and integration: Permanent residency permits should be granted to those who have been granted asylum, and allow for families to reunite. Reduce the time for which those granted asylum spend in asylum centres. Studies in Swedish shall start as soon as an asylum seeker has been registered with the Swedish Migration Agency. Private companies shall not be in charge of migrant reception. All municipalities need to welcome migrants. Young migrants who have lived in Sweden for more than two years should be able to stay.

Environment and infrastructure: Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Invest more in solar- and windpower. Build more railways, invest more in renewable energy production and plant-based food consumption, reduce meat consumption. Establish a state-run “green investment bank” of at least 100 billion kronor by the year 2022 in order to lend money with low interest rates to companies making green investments. Ban the exploitation of fossil fuels. Ban the sale of all new cars running on fossil fuels from 2025. Introduce a road travel fee for heavy trucks and keep the aviation tax in place. Invest in environmentally friendly transports such as trains, public transport, bicycle paths and shipping. Nationalize Swedish railways.

Healthcare: Deprivatize the healthcare sector. Recruit more midwives, nurses and doctors and raise their salaries, and improve their working conditions.

Seniors: Reform the pension system to make it more equal between men and women.

Crime and security: Clamp down on tax evaders and withdraw licenses for institutions that have repeatedly participated in making such crimes possible.

More: Introduce a third legal gender. Allow for children to have more than two legal guardians. Wants Sweden to end all collaboration with Nato. Deprivatize libraries.

Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna)

Main priority: Migration

Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

How they plan to do it:

Jobs and welfare: Lower income taxes. Extend funding for start-ups and lower their employer contribution fees. Give apprentice positions an employment status. Scrap the Swedish Public Employment Service and replace it with independent recruiting companies. Increase RUT (Cleaning, Maintenance and Laundry) deductions, and extend the number of services available through it.

Family: Increase the parental allowance and housing allowance for families. Grant first-time mothers a special allowance. Let parents decide on how to divide the parental leave between themselves.

School and education: Nationalize the school system. Hike salaries for teachers. Invest in fewer research areas to make the chosen areas more competitive.

Migration and integration: Only allow asylum seekers originating from neighbouring countries. Not allow any asylum seekers at all as long as Sweden's neighbouring countries are not at risk (of war or conflict). Work for migrant returns. Pause all reception of quota migrants. Introduce stricter requirements for acquiring a Swedish citizenship, including tests in the Swedish language and about Swedish society. Make it possible to revoke a citizenship if the information provided for getting it turns out to be false. Give police more authority and resources to search for illegal immigrants. Deport more migrants by entering return agreements with more countries. Abolish free health and dental care for illegal immigrants. Introduce “preparation schools” for immigrated children and youths before they can enter the general school system. Make knowledge of Swedish society mandatory for all migrants who have been granted residency.

Environment and infrastructure: Prevent foreign trucking companies from transporting goods within Sweden. Develop and extend Swedish railways. Develop fourth-generation nuclear reactors. Support an electrification of the transport sector, increase funding for climate-friendly innovations. Ban meat and dairy imports that have been produced via painful and unnecessary suffering of animals. Increase penalties for animal cruelty.

Healthcare: Cut waiting times for specialist healthcare to a maximum of 30 days, and to 14 days for more serious illnesses. Hire more healthcare service staff. Improve access to maternity care, pediatric care, primary care and emergency care. Allow healthcare staff to pursue training during working hours.

Seniors: Increase pensions and housing allowance for the poorest. Abolish the pension tax. Lower taxes for older people who want to keep working.

Crime and security: Recruit more police officers and raise their salaries. Deport foreign criminals and make it possible to revoke a person's citizenship if they have been involved in terror-related crimes. Make it easier for police officers to carry their service arms outside of working hours. Criminalize criminal networks. Increase the sentences for sexual assault crimes. More camera surveillance. Allow the military to assist police in some efforts.

More: Wants to establish cultural “Sweden centres” in vulnerable areas. Introduce a civil courage law. Introduce a nationwide begging ban. No to a higher retirement age. Wants to ban burqas and niqabs in public places, recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Wants a referendum on Sweden's EU membership. Wants Swedish defence to constitute 2.5 percent of GDP.

Member comments

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.