The leaders of the coalition parties in Huskvarna

Pensioner Tax Cut Pledge

Updated 5:03 PM

The Swedish center-right government has repeated recent promises to lower income taxes for pensioners. Center Party leader Maud Olofsson says the move will most help women and the pensioners in the worst circumstances.

Ever since the coalition took power four and a half years ago, it has successively lowered income taxes for wage-earners, specifically excluding students and pensioners. It was argued that this would encourage people to seek jobs.

But as the coalition parties continue to lag behind in the polls as the September elections approach, they have apparently reacted to the criticism about their treatment of pensioners from the opposition.

At a joint meeting of all four parties in Huskvarna in southern Sweden, they now say that when the Spring Budget is presented soon, it will include a tax cut for pensioners starting January 1.

The National Pensioners’ Organisation welcomes the move, but is critical as well. “It’s very nice they are directing some attention to pensioners,” says the organization’s head Anders Teljebäck. But he points out that wage-earners have still received much larger tax cuts than pensioners.

The economic spokesman for the opposition Social Democrats, Thomas Östros, repeats their call for pensions to be taxed under the same scale as salaries, and points to a poll commissioned by the party where 90 percent of those surveyed agreed with that position.

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