Gov't budget: Two billion extra to police

3:29 min

The government on Monday promised to boost its spending on the police by an extra SEK 2 billion over the next four years. The pre-budget pledge comes at a time of unrest inside the nation's police force over poor pay and working conditions.

More and more police officers have testified about the strained situation within the authority. Dissatisfaction with wages, working conditions and the new organization has prompted many police officers to resign or start looking for new jobs. The government's autumn budget, tabled in parliament next Tuesday, includes more money for the police to address their concerns. 

Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said that the government's proposal is for the police to receive 100 million extra over the next year and a further SEK 170 million in 2018. Then on an escalating scale, the budget allocation will increase to just over two billion kronor in 2020.

The funds, she said, come from various tax increases and savings made in the coming fall budget.

The investment is significantly lower than what the police say they need, reports SVT News. In the budget documents which the police submitted to the government last spring, it requested increased funding of SEK 3.9 billion by 2020. The money would be used by the authority to hire 2,000 police officers and 1,300 civilian employees. In 2017 it wanted to have a funding increase of around SEK 800 million.

Justice Minister Anders Ygeman said the police's estimate of SEK 3.9 billion, however, is an outdated demand based on a higher number of asylum seekers coming to Sweden. He said the lower number of refugees and extra cash given to the police in the spring budget means they won't be underfunded with the government's proposal put forth on Monday.

The government will present its 2017 budget in full on September 20.