Delays in Unemployment Benefits

Swedish Labor Market Minister Sven Otto Littorin has criticised delays in payments of unemployment benefits. As the jobless rate rises, it can now take as much as 18 weeks before people who have lost their jobs begin to receive compensation.

Littorin also says the fault is not that of his government, which greatly revamped the unemployment insurance system when they took power three years ago. But a spokesperson for the Swedish Trade Union Confederation says that Littorin should make more resources available to the unemployment agencies, which he says have had to deal with constantly changing government regulations.

The labor market minister also says the current situation supports his proposal to transfer responsibility for unemployment insurance from the unions to a public agency, with obligatory participation.

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