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New Family Policy Puts Parents in Focus

Published måndag 9 mars 2009 kl 11.59
Expecting better times? (Bebis = Baby)

Life may become easier for Swedish parents in the future. The Liberal Party, part of the right wing coalition in power in Sweden, wants to make household services such as cleaning, laundry, childminding and similar even cheaper for families with children. The Christian Democrats, another coalition party, want to give Swedish families a baby bonus to increase nativity.

The tax rebate for household services is 50 % today, up to the value of approximately 5500 US dollars per person. According to a survey by the tax office, the majority of households claiming the deduction were families with children.  Now the Liberals want to increase the rebate to 75 % for families with children, up until when the youngest child turns 8 years old.

It is the parents “who are mostly stuck between work, home and family,” Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund said to Swedish news agency TT.

In order to boost nativity figures in Sweden the Christian Democrats want to give expectant parents a bonus of just over 1000 US dollars. Last year 109 301 babies were born in Sweden. The baby bonus would cost Sweden over 100 million dollars a year.

This does not daunt the Christian Democrats in the least. Anders Sellström who headed the party’s workgroup in charge of family policies said to Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that he is worried that too few children are being born in Sweden.

“Socio-economically this is money which more than returns to society,” Sellström said. 

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