Swedish government unveils proposed spring budget

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The Riksdag, Sweden’s Parliament, in Stockholm, Sweden. The Swedish government has unveiled its spring budget proposal on Wednesday. (Ints Kalnins/Reuters)
The Swedish government, in cooperation with the Centre and Liberal parties, unveiled its spring budget proposal Wednesday morning.

It has pledged a new SEK 4.5 billion to four key areas including employment, the environment, welfare and national development. Spending includes support to farmers during extreme weather conditions and supplying broadband to the whole of Sweden.

The largest allocation of SEK 2 billion kronor went to fighting climate change and the government’s pledge to ween Sweden off of fossil fuels.

There are some changes to 2018’s budget brought in by the Moderate-Christian Democrats. For example, Sweden’s flight tax will remain in place and entry at state-run museums will remain free. But the biggest change is the restoration of environmental funds cut in the autumn budget.

Reactions to the government’s proposal were quick. The Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt took to Twitter and unleashed an attack on Centre party leader Annie Lööf, saying the budget kept tax breaks for the rich and was increasing inequality. Lööf denied the accusation, saying “the Left party has an odd definition of inequality.”

Sweden Democrat’s economic spokesperson, Oscar Sjöstedt, said he was not impressed by the budget, saying money set aside for elderly care and accomodation has now been cut.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Federal budget promises $700M for Canada’s North over next decade, CBC News

Finland: Budget cuts threaten international Sámi language cooperation, Yle News

Russia: Northern Sea Route needs €143 billion in private funds to meet shipping goals: report, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Room for more spending in Swedish gov’s spring budget: economist, Radio Sweden

United States: Proposed Alaska budget cuts face legal and political hurdles, Alaska Public Media

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