Göran Hägglund, leader of the Christian Democrats. Photo: JESSICA GOW / TT.

Christian Dem leader proposes cutting refugee allowance

The Christian Democrats want to abolish the daily allowance paid out to asylum seekers who find their own accommodations. According to party leader Göran Hägglund this would help deter overcrowding in the towns and cities popular with asylum seekers.

In an opinion piece in the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Hägglund, writes that the overcrowding leads to health problems, that people are isolated from the rest of society and it forces children to be constantly on the move. By doing away with the allowance, which has been in use since 1994, Hägglund means that more asylum seekers would opt for the Migration Board's residences, which would mean a more balanced distribution of newly arrived refuguees in Sweden's municipalities.

He names Södertälje, Malmö, and Tensta as places which draw a disproportionate amount of refugees once they arrive in Sweden.

Justice Minister Morgan Johansson, of the Social Democrat party tells the news agency TT, he agrees that the allowance lead to segregation and social problems. But, he says, if fewer people organise their own accommodation, the pressure on the Migration board housing would increase even more, as would the pressure on the councils where the asylum seekers are today.

"If you abolish the daily allowance to people who organise their own accommodation, the costs would be pushed onto the local councils, in accordance with the welfare laws," Johansson said.

Out of the 80,000 asylum seekers currently waiting to find out whether they are allowed to stay in Sweden or not, 24,000 live in accommodation that they have organised themselves. Many of them have moved in with relatives, or to areas where there are more people from their home country. Many live in cramped conditions, which puts pressure on everybody involved, not least the children.

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