Reforms for increased security and welfare in the Budget Bill for 2018

In the Budget Bill for 2018, the Government presents a range of proposals to increase security and welfare in Sweden. Here you can learn more about the proposals related to the areas of responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.

Children's rights

The proposal is presented in expenditure area 9 'Health care, medical care and social services'.

Summit on ending violence against children

In February 2018, Sweden will host the Solutions Summit, a high-level gathering bringing together representatives of governments, international organisations and other actors working to end all forms of violence against girls and boys. The Summit is part of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, of which Sweden is a member, launched at the initiative of UNICEF and WHO.

Disabilities

The proposal is presented in expenditure area 9 'Health care, medical care and social services'.

Increased standard amount for assistance allowance

The Government intends to increase the standard amount for assistance allowance by 1.5 per cent. This is a higher adjustment than in 2017, when the standard amount was increased by 1.05 per cent.

Improved interpretation services in working life

The Government is investing in greater access to interpretation services in working life. The aim is to strengthen the labour market opportunities of women and men who are deaf, deaf-blind or have a hearing impairment. The Government intends to allocate SEK 15 million per year for this purpose in 2018–2020.

Gender equality

The proposals are presented in expenditure area 13 'Gender equality and integration of newly arrived immigrants'.

Multi-year investment to combat honour-related violence and oppression

The Government intends to make a coordinated, multi-year investment to prevent and combat honour-related violence and oppression comprising measures worth SEK 100 million in 2018 and SEK 57 million per year in 2019–2020.

Appropriations to the new gender equality agency

The Government has decided to establish a gender equality agency to help ensure strategic, coherent and sustainable governance, and effective implementation of gender equality policy. The agency, which will be located in Gothenburg and open on 1 January 2018, has been allocated SEK 80 million for 2018.

Social insurance

The proposals outlined below are presented in expenditure area 10 'Financial security for the sick and disabled'.

Higher ceiling in the sickness insurance system

The ceiling for the sickness benefit qualifying income will be increased from seven and a half times to eight times the price base amount from 1 July 2018.

1. The housing supplement and the special housing supplement will be increased from 1 January 2018.
2. Tax will be reduced for people receiving activity and sickness compensation from 1 January 2018.
3. Guarantee compensation will increase by SEK 300 from 1 July 2018.

Improvements for people receiving activity and sickness compensation

The Government proposes reforms in three different areas that improve the financial situation of people receiving activity and sickness compensation.
4. The housing supplement and the special housing supplement will be increased from 1 January 2018.
5. Tax cuts for people receiving activity and sickness compensation will apply from 1 January 2018.
6. Guarantee compensation will increase by SEK 300 from 1 July 2018.

Proposal for sickness benefit pending a final decision

The aim of the proposal is to ensure that people on sick leave will not have their benefit suspended retroactively.

Under the proposal:
• A matter concerning sickness benefit may not be decided to the detriment of the insured without informing the insured of the content of the upcoming decision and giving them an opportunity to comment on it.
• Sickness benefit qualifying income will apply during the time the insured is waiting for the final decision.
• If sickness benefit has been paid previously, it will be paid until Försäkringskassan (Swedish Social Insurance Agency) has made a final decision.

Proposal for enhanced rehabilitation to promote return to work

The Government and the Left Party have together proposed measures to stimulate and ensure early assessment of rehabilitation needs and early measures for adaptation and workplace rehabilitation. The aim is to strengthen the individual's access to rehabilitation.

The proposals outlined below are presented in expenditure area 11 'Financial security for the elderly'.

Higher housing supplement for pensioners

The housing supplement, the special housing supplement and maintenance support for older people will be increased from 1 January 2018. The Government is investing SEK 655 million annually and 290 000 pensioners will be affected by the increase, 75 per cent of them women.

Tax cut for pensioners

On 1 January 2018, taxes will be cut by up to SEK 5 000 per year for 75 per cent of people over the age of 65. This will apply to 1.5 million over 65s, which means that 3 out of 4 older people will receive tax cuts in 2018.

The proposals outlined below are presented in expenditure area 12 'Financial security for families and children'.

Increased child allowance

The Government proposes that child allowance and extended child allowance be increased by SEK 200 per month per child from 1 March 2018.

New age-differentiated maintenance support

The Government wants to raise maintenance support for older children to improve the situation of families with children with the greatest financial needs. This is a twofold initiative for teenagers aged 15 and over, and children aged between 11 and 14.

Health care

The proposals outlined below are presented in expenditure area 9 'Health care, medical care and social services'.

Patient billion – enhanced health care guarantee in primary care and patient contract

The Government wants to support the introduction of an enhanced health care guarantee in primary care to improve patient accessibility. SEK 1 billion per year will be allocated for this in 2018–2021. The 'Patient billion' will also support the introduction of a patient contract to promote a more coherent approach to planned care. This is particularly important for patients with complex care needs and frequent contact with health care providers.

Good working conditions and new working methods for health care staff

The Government is investing to improve conditions for health care staff and develop health care activities. When health care staff have more time to provide their patients with treatment and care, patient safety is strengthened. SEK 2 billion will be allocated per year in 2018–2021 for this purpose.

More investments in maternity care

To address the problems and shortcomings experienced in maternity care, the Government proposes that the current investment be extended and expanded by SEK 1 billion per year up to 2022.

Increased general dental care subsidy

The Government intends to double the general dental care subsidy from SEK 300 to SEK 600 for the 22–29 age group, from SEK 150 to SEK 300 for the 30–64 age group, and from SEK 300 to SEK 600 for the over 65s.

Free cervical cancer screening

The Government is investing in free cervical cancer screening to ensure that no woman feels she is unable to afford a pap test.

Initiatives to improve mental health

The Government sees a major need to expand investments in mental health services and mental health. It is therefore strengthening efforts in this area by providing SEK 650 million in 2018 and SEK 1150 million per year in 2019 and 2020.

Strengthened child health services

The Government wants to increase accessibility to child health care services for groups with poor general health and poor dental health. SEK 137 million per year will be allocated for this purpose in 2018–2020. These funds will also be used to develop vaccine information and communication efforts to increase vaccination levels. The Government also intends to take a decision concerning the inclusion of the rotavirus vaccine in the national vaccination programme for children.

Social welfare services

The proposals outlined below are presented in expenditure area 9 'Health care, medical care and social services'.

Free holiday activities and swimming lessons

The Government is investing in free school holiday activities. It intends to allocate SEK 250 million per year in 2018–2020 to enable the municipalities to offer free activities during school holidays.

Support to older people with considerable health and social care needs

Older people with multiple illnesses and those in great need of care require the involvement of many different actors. Organisational changes are required and health care and social services need to be coordinated. The Government proposes that SEK 12 million per year be allocated for these initiatives in 2018–2020.

Falls prevention

Falls are the leading cause of accidental death, hospitalisation and visits to emergency departments. To achieve the goal of halving the number of fall-related accidents, the Government intends to enhance prevention efforts.

Staff reinforcements in social care for children and young people

The Government's ongoing investment to increase staffing levels in social care for children and young people will continue as planned. In 2018–2020, the Government intends to invest an additional SEK 250 million per year to strengthen initiatives for children subjected to or at risk of abuse.

Reinforced appropriation to the National Board of Institutional Care

Over the last three years, demand has been very high for residential care places provided by the National Board of Institutional Care (SiS). To enable SiS to expand its capacity, the Government intends to increase the administrative appropriation by SEK 40 million in 2017, SEK 110 million in 2018 and SEK 150 million per year in 2019–2021.

Central government initiative to combat acute homelessness

In 2018–2021, the Government will provide the municipalities with SEK 25 million per year as support for their work to combat acute homelessness.

Habilitation compensation

As of 2018, the Government intends to provide municipalities with a grant of SEK 350 million for their efforts related to habilitation compensation.