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Swedish government boosts pandemic-hit economy by $12 bln in 2021 budget

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Sweden’s government will pump 105 billion crowns ($12 billion) into the economy in 2021 in tax cuts and spending measures in a record give-away aimed at getting the economy back on its feet after the coronavirus pandemic-induced slump.

The government forecast Sweden’s gross domestic product will shrink around 4.6% this year in its budget on Monday, a milder hit than many other European countries. But the government said record fiscal stimulus was needed to get the country moving again.

“Together we are going to work Sweden’s way out of the crisis and build a more sustainable society,” the minority coalition said in a statement.

While many countries in Europe are re-imposing COVID restrictions after a surge in new cases, attention is turning to how to kick-start economies to ensure those who lost their jobs during the pandemic are not permanently side-lined and to support an new era of environmentally sustainable growth.

Sweden’s Social Democrat and Green coalition said the focus would be on boosting jobs, welfare and supporting the switch to a carbon-free future as it outlined a raft of tax cuts and new spending.

Most of the budget was already known, with measures a hodge-podge agreed with two small-centre right parties which help keep the coalition in power.

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