The 2017 Spring Budget in five minutes
On 18 April the Government presented its Spring Fiscal Policy Bill and a proposed spring amending budget to the Riksdag. In the Spring Fiscal Policy Bill, the Government presents its economic assessment and the direction of fiscal policy ahead of the budget for 2018.
The Spring Fiscal Policy Bill and the proposals in the spring amending budget are based on an agreement between the government parties and the Left Party.
The Ministry of Finance's latest economic forecast shows that:
- Sweden's economy is strong;
- employment is at record levels and unemployment is falling;
- the public finances are expected to show a surplus every year of this electoral period, i.e. 2015–2018.
"By pursuing a responsible fiscal policy since taking office, we have succeeded in bringing the huge public finance deficit we inherited back to surplus each year of this electoral period. This has placed us in an entirely new position and offers us new opportunities to meet social challenges. The Swedish model can continue to deliver," says Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson.
Since the Budget Bill for 2017 was presented to the Riksdag, events in Sweden and around the world have created the need for more measures to be taken as early as this year. In the spring amending budget for 2017, the Government therefore presents the following proposals:
- Reinforcement of the Swedish Police Authority, 700 SEK million
- Reinforcement of total defence, 500 SEK million
- Increased funds to maternity services and women's health, 500 SEK million
- Increased investment in mental health services for children and young people, 100 SEK million
- Reinforcement of social care for children and young people, 150 SEK million
- Increased funds to schools with a low percentage of students eligible for national programmes, 500 SEK million
- Reinforcement of the upper secondary Introduction Programme, 150 SEK million
- Reinforcement of the Climate Leap, 500 SEK million
Guidelines for economic and budget policy
Unemployment must continue to fall
The Government's jobs agenda consists of investments in upskilling and an active labour market policy, investments in housing and infrastructure, and an active industrial policy. In addition, more employees are needed in the welfare sector. Strengthening schools, health care and the police also creates more jobs. The objective of achieving the lowest unemployment rate in the EU by 2020 guides economic policy.
Learning outcomes in schools must continue to improve
The Government's objective is equitable knowledge-based education for all pupils. The welfare billions support the municipalities but so do the Government's investments in, for example, smaller classes, the reading-writing-arithmetic guarantee, and higher teacher salaries. Including the spring amending budget, the Government's total targeted investments in education amount to SEK 11 billion this year alone.
Sweden will be a leader in the transition to a climate-resilient world
The climate policy framework will guide the climate actions of this and future governments. The impact of environmental taxes will increase and promote more climate-smart transport and energy forms. Sweden will become one of the world's first fossil-free welfare nations. The transition also leads to more jobs, when investments are made in railways and trains and when Sweden's environmental technology exports increase. The Climate Leap will involve the entire country in reducing climate emissions to ensure that we achieve the national emissions target by 2020.
Sweden must be secure
Sweden must be a secure country. Society must therefore stand up to crime through law enforcement, crime prevention and the prosecution of those individuals who commit crimes. Penalties for serious criminal offences have been increased and the police have received more resources. The Swedish Police Authority has received funding to continue bringing more police officers closer to citizens. Increased police presence is essential. We must be tough on both crime and the causes of crime.