The Alliance presents its budget. (From the left, Erik Ullenhag (FP), Anna Kinberg Batra (M), Emil Källström (C) and Jakob Forssmed (KD) Photo:Henrik Montgomery/TT

Opposition pushes own budget proposal

The centre-right Alliance presented its first budget in opposition for eight years on Monday, with a raft of reforms aimed at schools, jobs and welfare. 

The Alliance said at a press conference that they proposed the investment of SEK 4.7 billion in the school system, including adding another year to secondary school education, (tenth grade), more maths at High School and grading from year four.

As well as schools, the Moderate Party's group leader in parliament Anna Kinberg Batra said that the budget motion contains proposals for jobs and better employment, welfare, defence and the environment.

"Overall these reforms will cost about SEK 10 billion," a difference, she said, compared to the government's proposal of SEK 25 billion. She also criticised the government's policies for creating jobs. She said: "Stefan Löfven's budget harms jobs and growth."           

Emil Källström, the Centre Party's economic spokesperson, highlighted sustainable growth across the country. The election manifesto promise of 10,000 charging stations for electric cars has now become a proposal in the budget. He also noted that the Alliance's agreement on energy remains, including the decision that current nuclear reactors can be replaced with new ones in the future.

The Liberal Party's Erik Ullenhag criticised the red-green government's energy policies' "sprawl" and said the same applied to infrastructure and he mentioned the minority government's plans to close Bromma Airport and stop work on a Stockholm bypass.

He also addressed the question that the Alliance would not challenge the minority government's budget to avoid a crisis in parliament. He said that the Alliance would challenge the government."It would be really weird if we did not run our own politics," he said.

If the government does not win the budget battle in December, Sweden faces a major government crisis.

"Then that is a problem for the government again. It is the government and the head of government who have the responsibility to govern," said Anna Kinberg Batra.

In order to create new jobs, the Alliance suggested "a comprehensive package of regulatory reforms" for entrepreneurs and the reform of integration policy. By 2020, it also wanted 300,000 new homes to have been built.

Jacob Forssmed of the Christian Democrats said that said that the Alliance government, in power for eight years, carried out many good reforms in welfare, and more are included in the budget motion, including money for mental health, nursing home warranties and a raising of food standards in elderly care to combat malnutrition.

Overall the draft budget will provide a one percent surplus in 2018.

The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, the third biggest party at the recent general election, will present its budget proposals at 1 p.m.  

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