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Sweden Democrats: No decision on budget strategy

Published måndag 10 november 2014 kl 15.56
SD's economic spokesperson Oscar Sjöstedt and Mattias Karlsson, deputy leader. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT.

The Sweden Democrat's deputy leader presented his party's budget on Monday and said that it had still not decided on whether to vote for the Alliance against the government's budget, which would almost certainly lead to a new general election.

When presenting his party's shadow budget, which came several hours after the Alliance had put forward its own budget, Sweden Democrat deputy leader Mattias Karlsson did not want to say anything about whether the party will endorse the Alliance's budget or not.

He said:" I do not see politics as a strategy, we have a responsibility to our constituents to pursue policies that are the least harmful to Sweden," Mattias Karlsson said when referring to the budget vote, which taks place on December 3 and could bring down the red-green minority government.

"We will sit down and analyze it very carefully, then we will prepare a proposal. I cannot say exactly in what form or when we will present it here," Mattias Karlsson said.

Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson says she remains confident that the government's budget will be voted through parliament. Parliament praxis is, she adds, that parties abstain once their own budgets are voted down. If the Sweden Democrats abstain, then the votes of the government parties, together with the Left Party, will be enough to see the government budget pass.

The alliance parties announced earlier today their joint shadow budget and according to Anna Kinberg Batra of the Moderates, there is no difference between the Alliance and the government's budget on the issue of money for migration, the Sweden Democrats' most important issue.

With that in mind, Mattias Karlsson said: "If their numbers are exactly the same, it is not a criterion that will be of crucial importance." He said his party would have an overall assessment of each budget, taking into account defense policy and health / social services as other important issues for the party.

As expected, when the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats unveiled its shadow budget, it said that it wants to cut down heavily on expenditure relating to immigration. The party wants to reduce the number of asylum seekers and family reunification, first with a 45 percent reduction in the first year, and then by 90 percent the remainder of the term. This would, in the Sweden Democrats' calculations, give over SEK 187 billion to the Treasury during the entire term of government.

Among the initiatives that the party wants to do is to remove the payroll tax for small businesses, lower taxes for retirees, and the renewal of nuclear power. One important item is also more resources to defence and the party wants to reintroduce conscription.

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