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Social Democrats open the way for higher taxes

Updated tisdag 15 februari 2011 kl 14.00
Published tisdag 15 februari 2011 kl 10.07
"People didn't believe in us"
(7:35 min)
The Social Democratic Party's Crisis Commission. Foto: Fredrik Persson/Scanpix.

Just five months after suffering one of the worst election defeats in a century, the Social Democratic Party has released a new report mapping a way forward for the party.

The report recommends that the party push for higher taxes to improve social welfare, as well as reform of the pension system and restrictions on profits made by private schools with public funding.

“If you have ambitious targets when it comes to schools, infrastructure, healthcare and care for the elderly; then you cannot pretend it comes for free,” Anna Johansson, joint chairperson of the party’s Crisis Commission told Swedish Radio News.

The report was commissioned after the general election last September in order to analyse where the party went wrong and to suggest a new direction.

Two of the main problems identified in the report are the party’s alliance with the Greens and the Left Party as well a failure to fight against growing inequality in Swedish society.

“We have been a little too defensive, a little too anxious. We haven’t pushed our basic values with enough self confidence,” said Johansson.

Speaking to Radio Sweden, the other joint chairperson of the Commission, Ardalan Shekarabi says it is important that the party get back to Social Democratic basics and talk about job creation.

"There is no Social Democratic party anywhere in the world that can win elections if they don't have a good job policy that people believe in. I think that has been one of the most difficult questions for us", he says.

The commission also recommends reforming the party structure and introducing more direct democracy within the Social Democrats.

"Becoming a member of the Social Democrat party must mean that you have a chance to influence the party, and take part in decision-making. We should have more votes on our policy making, why not have a membership vote on our school policy or other fields?", he adds.

The commission's report will be discussed at the party's extra congress in March, where it will also elect a new leader.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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