Centre-left budget raises fears over inequality

2:01 min

On Wednesday Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson presented the government's budget proposal for 2020, the first one as part of an agreement with centre-right parties.

Swedish Radio's political commentator Tomas Ramberg says the biggest winners this year are the 350,000 people in Sweden with the highest incomes, of which three-quarters are men.

The proposals in the budget are based on the January agreement between the Social Democrats and Green Party government, and the Center Party and Liberals who are technically in opposition. It's the first budget agreed on between these parties.

Iniatives include reduced taxes for high earners and pensioners, reduced employer fees, and increased spending on defence. The government also proposes dividing 580 million kronor between municipalities with socio-economic challenges and those that have taken large numbers of refugees. The reduced tax on pensioners is expected to cost 4.3 billion kronor in lost revenue, while reduced employer fees will amount to another 1.7 billion.

The single largest cost in the budget is the abolition of the so called värnskatt, or tax on high earners, whch is expected to amount to 6.1 billion kronor in lost revenue next year for the state.