Social Democrat leader, Håkan Juholt, holding his first summer speech as party leader in Västertorp outside of Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/Scanpix
social democrat leader's summer speech

Responsibility central theme of Juholt's speech

Social Democrat leader, Håkan Juholt, held his first summer speech as party leader on Sunday. In front of a crowd of around 800 in Västertorp, outside of Stockholm, Juholt repeatedly mentioned responsibility, as well as making a point of ideology.

Juholt cited ideology when he called for a tax cut for pensioners and accused the government of being irresponsible on the issue, reports Swedish Radio News.

“It is irresponsible to just look on as pensions are hollowed out. It is irresponsible to cut taxes for wage earners and raise them for pensioners,” said Juholt.

“We will put forward proposals in this autumn’s budget aimed to reduce this injustice for the country’s pensioners. This is a deeply ideological issue,” he continued.

Housing policy was another central theme of the Social Democrat leader’s speech. He focused in particular on a budget proposal for more investment in building student accommodation. Juholt also spoke of his desire to introduce legislation that would prevent Swedish municipalities from building however they choose; instead requiring them to build new housing in a variety of areas and a mixture of leased and owned properties, reports news agency TT.

Juholt also talked about what he sees as the continuing deterioration of the Swedish school system and the deploring link between parents’ social and economic status, and a child’s chance of academic success.  

Returning to the themes of ideology and responsibility, Juholt had a dig at Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

“Real responsibility is more than just acting like an accountant and balancing a budget. It is about having an idea about where to take Sweden.”

Juholt did not, however, mention how much his proposals would cost or how they would be paid for. He told news agency TT that these policies should rather be seen as the foundation for the party’s next budget.

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