C and M part ways on welfare service providers

The Centre Party decided late Friday that at least half of all jobs within welfare services should be performed by private and/or non-profit organisations. Meanwhile, the Moderates are pulling in the other direction, Swedish Radio News reports

The decision to set a target was preceded by a debate between Ann-Kristin Simonsson and Gösta Gustavsson at the Centre Party’s annual meeting, held this week in the northern ski resort town of Åre.

But Annie Lööf, the newly elected party leader, said she would prefer to talk about quality than who is providing the services. “I think it was more a goal set by the party leadership to communicate that we want to fight for better quality and for more efficient services. But, personally, I think it’s more important to focus on the content and quality of the services,” Lööf said.

While the Centre Party set a clear target, the Moderate Party is headed in the opposite direction, having already abandoned its earlier focus on privatisation.

When the Moderates meet in October for their annual assembly they intend to establish a municipal plan that prioritises quality over the issue of whether it’s a public or private actor providing the service.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, leader of the Moderates, doesn’t think municipalities should have to sell their companies either. “It’s the stance of the new Moderates to not get stuck in discussions of ownership, but rather to ask how it’s affecting the daily lives of people,” he said.