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Photo: Tomas Oneborg / SvD / TT
Photo: Tomas Oneborg / SvD / TT.

Tax money to private companies is marked as confidential

During the last five years, over SEK 73 billion of tax money has been paid out in employment incentive programs to private companies. But oversight of the programs may be lacking, because the companies who received the money are kept confidential by the Swedish Public Employment Service.

State support for employment includes the so-called "new-start job" program, in which the the state promises to pay a large part of a new employee's salary to encourage hiring. Other programs provide incentives to companies to hire immigrants or people with reduced work capacity.

While those programs have ostensibly benefited many unemployed people, daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that recently both trade unions and employer organizations have complained that certain private companies – especially in the cleaning, taxi, and restaurant industries – build their businesses on state-subsidized salaries.

The newspaper reports that the Employment Service has been also criticized in a government investigation for not detecting when companies take in too many subsidized employees. An analyst at the Employment Service defended its confidentiality policy saying that the information could be partly regarded as a trade secret.

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