Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Budget news, property prices, changes to Covid-19 travel rules and more. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Government proposes tax cuts intended to benefit 7.5 million people

Three quarters of the total Swedish population would see a boost to their wallet if the government gets support for three proposed tax cuts, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson announced yesterday. For a wage earner on a 25,000 kronor monthly salary, the boost would be a modest 110 kronor per month, with the biggest winners from the proposals including low-income earners, members of unemployment insurance funds, and those on sickness benefit.

And more budget news came today, with Minister of Social Insurance Ardalan Shekarabi (pictured above) announcing proposals for changes to pensions, and an increased housing supplement. 

Swedish vocabulary: tax cut – skattereduktion

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Swedish region investigates mandatory Covid-19 vaccines for staff

The Dalarna region will investigate the possibility of only employing staff who are vaccinated against Covid-19, Moderate Party regional councillor Ulf Berg said.

“As a healthcare provider, we must do everything in our power to prevent the spread of infection. The right as an employer to opt out of [hiring] jobseekers who do not want to be vaccinated must be possible,” he justifies the decision in a press release.

Vaccination is voluntary in Sweden, and the Swedish Public Health Agency recommends that everyone from the age of 16 get the vaccine. Dalarna aims to conclude its investigation by the end of January 2022.

Swedish vocabulary: jobseeker – arbetssökande 

Changes to Sweden’s non-EU entry ban

The government will today announce a decision on extending its ban on entry to Sweden from non-EU countries, the TT newswire reports. There are several exceptions to the ban including those travelling for specific reasons, as well as people from certain countries, but six countries are now set to be removed from the exempt list: the United States, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and northern Macedonia, based on a rise in Covid-19 infections in those countries.

That doesn’t necessarily mean all travel from those countries will be banned, as travellers may fall into another exempted category, such as travelling for urgent family reasons or if they have EU citizenship or a Swedish residence permit. The decision has come from an EU recommendation.

Interior Minister Mikael Damberg also hinted that further exemptions for vaccinated travellers may be on the way. “There are a number of countries with which Sweden has close relations. There, the government will now investigate the possibility of exempting fully vaccinated residents in certain third countries,” he said. “I am thinking primarily of the United Kingdom, but also the United States, even though the United States is more complex and many states have very different rules.”

Swedish vocabulary: exception – undantag

Property prices back on the rise

After a lull in July, Swedish house prices rose again in August, according to price indexes from bank SBAB and housing site Booli.

The rise varied across the country, with a 4.4 percent average rise for apartment prices in central Stockholm, compared to 1.3 percent in Stockholm and 1.1 percent in Malmö, though the Gothenburg region remained stagnant. 

House prices rose even more in Gothenburg and Malmö, by 2.8 and 3.8 percent respectively, but remained steady in Stockholm while central Sweden saw a decline of 0.6 percent. SBAB’s chief economist Robert Boije described the development as a “post-holiday effect”, in line with typical seasonal patterns for the market.

Swedish vocabulary: property prices – bopriser

Will September be hotter than August?

It’s a possibility, according to SVT’s meteorologist, after a disappointingly cool and windy summer in Sweden. The tropical storm Ida, which was previously classed as a hurricane and caused chaos in the US, is now approaching Sweden and could bring warmer temperatures of up to 20C, although the forecast is uncertain, SVT emphasised.

Swedish vocabulary: hurricane – orkan

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