New Swedish Budget
The Swedish government presented its new budget to Parliament Thursday, with Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg clutching the document while making the 300 meter walk from his office to Parliament, surrounded by throngs of journalists, members of the public and a modest security presence.
The budget bill, thashed out between the four parties making up Sweden’s center-right coalition government, continues a program designed to bolster employment. Many proposals included in this year’s budget have already been leaked by the government, and include further reductions in income tax to the tune of 1.6 billion US dollars, and cuts in Sweden’s generous health insurance and unemployment schemes.
Widely unpopular property taxes are to be abolished, to be replaced by taxes based on the value of homes – although these tariffs are set to be higher than some government ministers had pledged in the run-up to last year’s general elections.