Mehmet Kaplan. Photo: Henrik Montgomery / TT.
Mehmet Kaplan. Photo: Henrik Montgomery / TT.

Subsidies for jobs are "stigmatizing"

The poorer neighborhoods in Sweden get state subsidies but the government says this scheme makes the local areas compete with each other.

The subsidies seem to be showing positive results: in 14 of the 15 neighborhoods in the scheme employment has increased, according to figures from Statistics Sweden. In several cases, it has increased even more than the local municipality did on a whole.

The centre-right Alliance parties introduced the measure, giving hundreds of millions of kronas in support over two years.

It works as a reward system; those that succeed best at reversing the downward trend receive the largest share of the money.

However, according to Housing and Urban Development Minister Mehmet Kaplan (Green Party), this model is problematic and stigmatizing. And the current government does not want to continue the program.

"It is foremost maybe the 'element of competition,' which pits neighborhood against neighborhood, that is problematic. And those that are the most excluded economically are the ones that have it hardest getting support," Kaplan told Swedish Radio News.

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