Magdalena Andersson, economic spokesperson for the Social Democrats, presented the shadow spring budget on Wednesday. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/Scanpix.

Jobs in focus in Social Democrat spring budget

Getting people into work is at the centre of the Social Democrats shadow spring budget, which was presented on Wednesday afternoon.

"You can keep making it cheaper to hire people, but as long as people do not have the competence that companies need, it won't have any effect," Magdalena Andersson, the party's economic spokesperson, told reporters at the press briefing.

Already last week, the party presented the idea that young unemployed people who have dropped out of secondary school should be given economic incentives to finish their studies. At the briefing on Wednesday, Magdalena Andersson said some 10,000 full time study places will be needed.

"This is not an offer. This is the route that will be available if you are young and want the support from society. In practice it means compulsory school attendance for young unemployed under the age of 25, who have not taken their exam from secondary school," Andersson told Swedish Radio News.

According to Andersson, the unemployment among the young people who have dropped out of secondary school is currently 40 per cent.

In addition to a string of proposals directed at combating youth unemployment, the shadow budget also includes support for science and research, and the Social Democrats want to make it easier for entrepreneurs to access risk capital. Tax rebate for companies prepared to invest in research and development is also in the proposal.

Just like the Left party, which also presented its alternative spring budget on Wednesday, the Social Democrats wants the government to set a target for the employment level in the country. The party is still considering the details in how this should be measured, but the Social Democrats are in favour of a target which also helps evaluate other proposals.

Magdalena Andersson does not think a target regarding employment contradicts the current target of a 1 per cent surplus in the public finances, an idea the Social Democrats themselves introduced while in Government. Contrary to the Left party, the Social Democrats want to keep the surplus target.

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