Sweden’s centre-left government said on Monday it would boost welfare spending by 23 billion Swedish crowns ($2.6 billion) next year in a budget aimed at reducing social inequality and shifting to a more sustainable economy after the pandemic.
Sweden has bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic quicker than most countries in Europe.
But long-term challenges remain, including dealing with a surge in gang violence, meeting a target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and plugging the gaps in the welfare system exposed by the pandemic.
“We are presenting a budget with proactive reforms for the climate, jobs, welfare and to fight crime,” Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said in a statement.
“Together we will take Sweden forward and build a stronger and more sustainable society.”
Measures, most of which were already known, include 10 billion crowns in income tax cuts, around 12 billion crowns to reverse climate change and 8 billion to boost employment. The budget will inject 74 billion crowns into the economy in total.
Photo – A general view of a cafe at a pier with Swedish flags in front of the upscale sea-front area of Ostermalm in Stockholm, Sweden. EPA-EFE/MAURITZ ANTIN