Swedish gov’s budget raises fears over inequality

Journalists browse through the Swedish government’s budget bill for 2020 after its release at the finance ministry in Stockholm, Sweden September 18, 2019. (Anna Ringstrom/Reuters)
On Wednesday Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson presented the Swedish government’s budget proposal for 2020, the first one as part of an agreement with centre-right parties.

Swedish Radio’s political commentator Tomas Ramberg says the biggest winners this year are the 350,000 people in Sweden with the highgest incomes, of which three-quarters are men.

The proposals in the budget are based on the January agreement between the Social Democrats and Green Party government, and the Center Party and Liberals who are technically in opposition. It’s the first budget agreed on between these parties.

Iniatives include reduced taxes for high earners and pensioners, reduced employer fees, and increased spending on defence. The government also proposes dividing 580 million kronor between municipalities with socio-economic challenges and those that have taken large numbers of refugees. The reduced tax on pensioners is expected to cost 4.3 billion kronor in lost revenue, while reduced employer fees will amount to another 1.7 billion.

The single largest cost in the budget is the abolition of the so called värnskatt, or tax on high earners, whch is expected to amount to 6.1 billion kronor in lost revenue next year for the state.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Boost in federal infrastructure fund ‘huge’ for Canada’s northern municipalities, CBC News

Finland: Finland’s Centre Party elects new leader, Yle News

Norway: Political earthquake shakes up Northern Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Career diplomat to represent Murmansk region in Russian senate, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish government unveils proposed spring budget, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska losing $102M in military construction for wall on U.S.-Mexico border, Alaska Public Media

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