Swedish Municipalities To Get Extra Funds

The Swedish government is planning to give almost 3 billion US dollars to Swedish municipalities over the next few years. 

This includes a one-off payment of almost 900 million dollars earmarked for 2010. 70 % will go to local authorities and 30 % to the county council. The move is in direct response to the recession and the funds are planned to be used to avoid the laying off of staff employed by the county councils and local authorities, such as health care staff and teachers.

In both 2011 and 2012 the municipalities will receive another 600 million dollars. No more money is earmarked for this year, as the government thinks that enough has been done for local authorities by lowering both payroll and property taxes.

According to Swedish news agency TT, these figures don’t quite reach the level required to avoid letting staff go, based on earlier predictions by the National Institute of Economic Research. But Anna Widenfalk of the Institute still thinks it is positive for local authorities to know how much they will have over the next few years.  Whether or this will be enough, she can’t say.

“In our latest prognosis we made the assessment that a little more than this would be needed in order to keep staff on,” she said to news agency TT

The economic spokesperson for the opposition Left Party, Ulla Andersson, thinks that the influx of money will not be enough to avoid laying off staff.

In a press release she asks:

“Where should the corners be cut? With the children, the sick, or the elderly?” (rm)