Sweden's government calls for investigation into cost of immigration

TT/The Local
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Sweden's government calls for investigation into cost of immigration
Sweden Democrat party secretary Mattias Bäckström Johansson. File photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish government and its supporting party, the Sweden Democrats, have called for an inquiry into the "economic net effects of migration to Sweden in modern times".


“It’s important that this becomes a driving force moving forward,” Sweden Democrat party secretary Mattias Bäckström Johansson said.

In recent weeks, the far-right Sweden Democrats and the government have been negotiating an update to their coalition agreement, also known as the Tidö agreement, which some have been referring to as "Tidö 2.0". Representatives of the coalition parties have been seen at Harpsund, the prime minister’s country residence.

One of the new proposals in the updated agreement is for Sweden’s National Institute of Economic Research (KI) to calculate the “economic net effects of migration to Sweden in modern times”.

“This is something we’ve been calling for since we entered parliament, in our first budget, and out in the municipalities – multicultural accounting,” Bäckström Johansson said.

The institute will be asked to look at how income and costs of immigration have changed historically, while also forecasting the economic effects of immigration in the future, based on factors like the effect on the labour market, tax income and welfare payments.


Bäckström Johansson also mentioned the cost of accepting refugees, welfare costs and gang crime.

Results will also be broken down by country of origin, he said.

“You obviously need to have that as a parameter, immigrants as a group are not a homogenous collective,” he continued.

“It may be relevant to look at that on the back of the number of asylum seekers Sweden has accepted, maybe also linked to those accepted via the UN.”


He added that the result of the investigation should be used when creating future migration policy.

“The closer a country is culturally, the easier it is to become part of society,” he said.

The Sweden Democrats have carried out a similar report previously, making their own prediction of the net tax cost of immigrants between 2007 and 2021. In that report, which was criticised by national economists, the party claimed that immigrants had cost the country 1,397 billion kronor in taxes.

Bäckström Johansson is convinced that KI’s calculations will confirm that immigration costs the country more money than it contributes to the economy.

“In the best case scenario it could be positive,” he said. “But we are convinced, which has been clear, that the large-scale migration to Sweden has cost the country money.”


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