15 April 2009
Ministry of Finance
The 2009 Spring Fiscal Bill - a responsible policy to secure welfare
In conjunction with the 2009 Spring Fiscal Policy Bill, the Government proposes further measures for combating the crisis. To reduce the impact on jobs and key parts of the welfare systems, the Government proposes increasing grants to the local government sector. Resources for labour market policy are also being boosted. Along with the measures presented since the 2009 Budget Bill, the Government is allocating a total of SEK 45 billion in 2009 and SEK 60 billion in 2010 in response to the crisis.
The deep recession means that a policy that puts jobs first now faces much greater challenges.
"In a situation where we are experiencing the weakest growth since the Second World War and unemployment is rising dramatically, the Government has chosen a clear path marked by responsibility for public finances, for jobs and for the core welfare activities," says Minister for Finance Anders Borg.
Key elements of economic policy
One basis of the Government's policy in the severe recession is keeping public finances in good order to ensure that the deficits are temporary and manageable. In this way, households and firms can continue to have confidence in economic policy and the foundation on which welfare rests.
"Key parts of the welfare systems such as education, health care, social services and the judicial system also have to function in difficult economic times," says Minister for Finance Anders Borg. "People must have confidence in the public sector's ability to fulfil its main task."
The Government also continues its work to create the conditions whereby as many as possible can work and thus contribute to the common good. In an economic crisis, the Government's most important contribution to achieving this objective is to focus on active labour market policy measures. These measures provide people with security while adjusting to change and with support in looking for work, even in new fields and in other parts of the country. They reduce the risk of unemployment persisting when the economy turns upwards.
More measures to combat the crisis
The financial crisis makes it even more important for Government policy to be straightforward. Therefore, in connection with the 2009 Spring Fiscal Policy Bill, the Government is presenting measures in two areas - increased grants to municipalities and county councils and more resources for labour market policy.
To reduce the impact of the financial crisis on jobs and key parts of the welfare systems, the Government proposes more financial assistance for the local government sector in the form of a temporary counter-cyclical support of SEK 7 billion for 2010, which will be paid in December 2009. At the same time, the Government is announcing an increase of SEK 5 billion in the central government grant to municipalities and county councils in 2011 and 2012.
Furthermore, resources for labour market policy are being strengthened in order to prevent persistent high unemployment. The Government is allocating SEK 10 billion in the supplementary budget to active measures and unemployment insurance. Total labour market policy expenditures will increase by over SEK 20 billion between 2008 and 2009 and by about SEK 100 billion for a few years after that. The increased resources will be used to prevent people from becoming long-term unemployed and improve conditions for those most detached from the labour market. The Government is also increasing resources to help the unemployed to look for work, get training and get more access to traineeships.
Extensive stimulus package
Along with the measures presented earlier in the 2009 Budget Bill and afterwards, the Government is thus allocating a total of SEK 45 billion in 2009 and SEK 60 billion in 2010 to combat the crisis.
The Government will continue to monitor the situation to see if further measures are needed. There is very little scope for additional reforms. The Government will tackle the crisis, weighing each measure for the effects it will have on jobs and the public finances. In this way the Government takes responsibility for Sweden and secures welfare.
ContactAnna Charlotta Johansson
work +46 8 405 10 00
Press Secretary to Anders Borg
work +46 8 405 10 00