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Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson presneting his party's shadow budget.
Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson presneting his party's shadow budget. Credit: Alexander Larsson Vierth/TT

Moderate Party would deliver tax cuts to millions

The conservative Moderate Party promised to deliver tax cuts for millions of Swedes as it presented its shadow budget, Thursday. And it said it wants to introduce a new income tax deduction for low-earners.

The Moderates' new income tax deductions amount to SEK 22 billion, the largest commitment in the party's shadow budget.

"For a nurse or a bus driver, it's about SEK 10,500 per year in reduced taxes," says Elisabeth Svantesson, the party's financial spokesperson.

The new Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson says that the opposition Alliance can very easily bring together a co-ordinated financial plan based on its four budget motions. (The Alliance consists of the Moderates, Center party, Liberals and Christian Democrats.) 

"I dare claim that in a couple of days we could convert it into a common operational state budget. We are more in agreement now than the government was when it began to write its declaration of government," Kristersson said in a press conference following the Moderates' shadow budget announcement.

The Center Party, Christian Democrats and Liberals announced tax cuts in their recent budget announcements. The Center Party focused on lowering taxes for low and middle income-earners worth SEK 2,000 a year per person.

"To lower the tax for those who work is good for the economy, it is good for more people to go from job to job, and it is also important for households to have more money in their wallets," Center leader Annie Lööf said.

The Liberals want to lower income taxes by more than SEK 20 billion next year. The party also wants to spend almost ten billion more than the government does on education, including paying for more teaching hours and extended schooling for new arrivals to the country.

The Christian Democrats want to lower income taxes and taxes on pensioners, costing SEK 30 billion in 2018. At the same time, the Christian Democrats focused on one of its core issues, healthcare. Leader Ebba Busch Thor said her party would invest SEK 7 billion kronor over 3 years to improve waiting times at hospital and healthcare centres. 

Like the other Center, Liberal and Christian Democrat Alliance parties, the Moderates propose about SEK 10 billion less in so-called reforms or investments, compared to the government.

The main item in the Moderate budget is reduced taxes, particularly on those in work, equivalent to almost SEK 22 billion. 

The party plans to raise the tax threshold, costing the government SEK 2 billion in 2018, rising to SEK 6 billion in 2020. 

In order to save enough to pay for tax cuts and proposals to increase spending on defence, law and order and healthcare, the Moderates refuse to back SEK 28 billion worth of spending proposals from the government. They also want to raise VAT on food from 12 to 14 percent, which would give SEK 3.3 billion.
 
The Moderates do, though, back the government's budget proposal to increase child support.

The Sweden Democrats, who are not part of the opposition Alliance, announced their budget earlier this week. They want to lower taxes for low income earners, cut hospital waiting times and lower taxes for pensioners.

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