Opposition Presents New Sick Leave Plans

Sweden's three opposition parties have presented new plans on how to reform long-term sick leave and invalidity benefits.

Writing in the daily Dagens Nyheter, the three party leaders say they want to raise the level of sick-pay for both low and high earners, and extend the period of time people are allowed to be on invalidity benefit, but would first put the matter to a cross-party study, if they won the next election.

The current centre-right government introduced new procedures at the beginning of the year limiting how long people can be on sick leave, and the new limits have been widely criticized in the Swedish media.

But Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has blasted the opposition's new plans, saying that they are unfinanced, he also criticized the fact that no decision has actually been taken, and that the plans would first go to a study once they got into power. The last three big suggestions by the opposition would all only be put in place if studies agreed to them, Reinfeldt told the media Tuesday.

"Is this what the alternative is, a government of investigations?", he asked news agency TT.

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