Swedish government announces 2022 budget ‘to take Sweden forward’

Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson presented the government's budget proposal today, including a raft of initiatives to the tune of almost 75 billion kronor.

Swedish government announces 2022 budget 'to take Sweden forward'
Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson unveiled the budget which contains reforms aimed at boosting employment, fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and protecting the environment. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The total amount being spent on new reforms is less than last year’s record-breaking 105 billion kronor, which Andersson described as a “historic” budget at the time, with a focus on coronavirus-related measures. 

The pandemic’s impact is also clear from this year’s budget, with a total of 9.6 billion kronor set aside for initiatives linked to the pandemic. That includes 3.5 billion for purchasing more vaccine doses, 2.1 billion to help the healthcare sector carry out vaccinations, and a 2 million kronor boost for testing and contact tracing efforts, for example.

“This is a budget to take Sweden forward after the pandemic,” said Andersson as she announced the measures.

Some of the budget’s content had already been presented over the past few weeks, but there were some new details.

One such measure was the confirmation of the introduction of a so-called ‘family week’, an extra six days of paid leave for parents of children aged between four and 16, set to be introduced from April 2022. This is estimated to cost 3.5 billion kronor.

Another measure announced on Monday was additional investment to support the healthcare sector, including 2 million aimed at reducing queues for treatment as a result of the pandemic and 2 million to increase staff in the sector.

Between 10 and 12 billion kronor goes to climate and environmental initiatives (depending on how these are defined) including public transport, electric buses, and support for Swedish forests. Money will also be invested in fighting crime, with 2.5 billion going to police, technology, and CCTV.

“The climate is and remains the key issue of our time,” said the Finance Minister. “It is extremely clear that we need to do more to reduce our emissions to reach the climate goals we have set.”

The budget also includes 10 billion kronor to cover tax cuts, primarily for low- and middle-income earners, but also for people on sickness and disability benefits and for members of Sweden’s unemployment insurance funds.

The big question now is whether the government will be able to get its budget voted through by parliament.

After the government’s post-election deal with the Centre and Liberal parties collapsed earlier this year, the most likely route for the minority government to get its proposals passed is with the support of both the Centre and Left parties.

The Local will publish a full explanation of what the budget bill means for international residents later today.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Sweden Elects: How powerful are the Sweden Democrats now?

The Local's editor Emma Löfgren explains how Sweden's parliamentary committees work – and the role the Sweden Democrats will play in them.

Sweden Elects: How powerful are the Sweden Democrats now?


The speaker of parliament has given Ulf Kristersson, leader of the conservative Moderates and the likely next prime minister of Sweden, October 12th as a deadline to conclude his government negotiations.

If Kristersson comes up with a viable proposal for a ruling coalition, the speaker will put that proposal to parliament within four days. Chances are Sweden will have its new right-wing government by mid-October.

What will that government look like? Most likely, it will consist of at least the Moderates and the Christian Democrats. Rumours have it Kristersson is hoping to bring the Liberals into the governmental fold, and it is unlikely that the far-right Sweden Democrats will be part of the government.

But anyone who thinks the latter means they will be left on the sidelines is mistaken. They will have demanded significant concessions in order to support Kristersson’s government (and especially to make way for the Liberals) from parliament, and judging from recent news, they got them.

In a joint press release last week, the right wing – the Moderates, Christian Democrats, Liberals and Sweden Democrats – said they had reached a deal on how to share responsibility for their parliamentary committees.

There are 15 committees in the Swedish parliament, seats on which are held by members of parliament, with larger parties getting more seats as well as more high-ranking roles such as chair and deputy chair.

The right wing is after this election entitled to 16 chair and deputy chair roles, and the Sweden Democrats will get half of those, the parties agreed. The key thing that many political pundits were keeping an eye on was which committees, as that tells us a lot about how far they got in their negotiations with the other right-wing parties. The answer: far.

The Sweden Democrats will get to chair the Justice, Foreign Affairs, Labour Market, and Industry and Trade Committees – all heavyweight committees. 

Their most high-profile appointment is Richard Jomshof, one of the most senior Sweden Democrats who in the run-up to the election gave an anti-Islam speech (not the first time). He will chair the Justice Committee.

The Moderates will chair the Finance and Social Insurance Committees (plus the EU Committee), the Christian Democrats will chair the Health and Welfare Committee, and the Liberals will chair the Education Committee.

On the other side, the left-wing parties will get to chair the Defence, Taxation, Constitution, Civil Affairs, Transport and Communications, Environment and Agriculture, and Cultural Affairs Committees.

So what exactly do the parliamentary committees do, and how much influence will the Sweden Democrats now have over legislation?

The votes of every member of the committees count equally (there are at least 15 members on every committee, representing the various parties from left to right), and the chair gets the final vote if there’s a tie. He or she also has influence over the committee’s agenda and over how meetings are directed, with the position also bringing prestige.

All government bills and proposals by members of parliament first go through one of the committees before they can be put to the main chamber for a vote. The committee adopts a position on the proposal and although the final decision rests with the 349 members of the main chamber, they usually vote for the committee’s position since the make-up of their members represent the parties in parliament.

Although chair positions give them a procedural advantage, the Sweden Democrats won’t have unlimited power over their committees, since as I said, the other parties have seats too and their votes count equally.

The main benefit for the Sweden Democrats is rather the soft power it gives them. The chair is the face of the parliamentary committee, and these senior roles will force the other parties to take them seriously.

Another aspect to bear in mind is that they’ll have enough seats on each committee that they will have a key kingmaker role where they can side either with the government or the opposition – giving them fairly significant negotiating power when it comes to future legislation.

In other news, the Swedish parliament last week re-elected the popular Andreas Norlén as speaker, it’s been taking much longer than usual to get a work permit (here’s why) and foreigners are calling for the Migration Agency to issue special visas to allow those affected by renewal delays to leave Sweden and return, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has stopped leaking gas, and households in Sweden are starting to feel the economic squeeze.

In the latest episode of our Sweden in Focus podcast, host Paul O’Mahony is joined by Handelsbanken chief economist Johan Löf, as well as The Local’s Becky Waterton, Richard Orange and James Savage.

Many thanks to everyone who’s got in touch lately with your thoughts and feedback about Sweden Elects. I’m happy it’s useful to you. If you have any questions about Swedish politics, you’re always welcome to get in touch.

Best wishes,


Sweden Elects is a weekly column by Editor Emma Löfgren looking at the big talking points and issues in the Swedish election race. Members of The Local Sweden can sign up to receive the column as a newsletter in their email inbox each week. Just click on this “newsletters” option or visit the menu bar.