Article from Ministry of Finance

Economic measures in response to COVID-19

Published · Updated

To mitigate the economic effects on society of the COVID-19 outbreak, several measures have been taken. The measures are intended to provide greater security for those affected by the pandemic by limiting the spread of the virus, combating the effects on businesses and jobs and providing financial security and transition opportunities for those who become unemployed. They are also intended to create the conditions for recovery after the crisis.

Reducing the spread of the virus

Everyone working in health care and infectious disease control must have the tools and resources needed to manage and limit the spread of the virus. Through their responsibility for health and social care, the regions and municipalities have a crucial role in fighting the spread of the virus. The local government sector is therefore being given funding, both targeted and general, to deal with the immediate additional costs resulting from the outbreak. The performance requirements in the ‘waiting list billions’ are being removed temporarily. Government agencies participating in action to limit the outbreak must also have the resources they need.

The risk of health care overload decreases the more the spread of infection is limited. The sick pay standard deduction and the medical certificate requirement during a sick pay period have been removed temporarily and the resources for disease carrier’s allowance have been increased.

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Saving jobs and businesses

The economic impact of the coronavirus is hitting the business sector very hard. Many business owners are experiencing great uncertainty and do not know whether their business will survive or what will happen to their employees. To support viable companies during the crisis and reduce the number of jobs lost, the Government has presented several crisis packages containing measures to reduce costs, strengthen liquidity and improve access to financing.

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Tackling rising unemployment

Despite the extensive measures the Government has taken to support viable businesses, many people are going to lose their jobs. In view of the present economic situation several temporary changes have been made in unemployment insurance to make it easier to qualify for benefit and to ensure that this insurance provides greater financial security for people who become unemployed. In addition, more measures are proposed to provide good transition opportunities. More funding is proposed for Arbetsförmedlingen (the Swedish public employment service) to deal with higher unemployment and ensure equivalent service levels throughout the country.

Funds are also being provided to enable more people to participate in measures leading to jobs, such as employment training, extra jobs and support and matching services. In addition, it is proposed that more places be provided at universities and other higher education institutions, higher vocational education, vocational adult education and folk high schools.

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Continued fight against societal problems

As soon as the fight against the virus outbreak permits, fiscal policy will be aimed at supporting a rapid recovery. Businesses that use short-term layoffs and various forms of liquidity support must be able to quickly return to full resource use.

Looking beyond the ongoing pandemic, unemployment, climate change, the growing needs in welfare provision, the gap between urban and rural areas, shortcomings in integration, learning outcomes in schools and crime are societal problems that must be addressed through further reforms.

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Correction

The heading "Qualifying day for sick pay to be discontinued" has been changed to ”Sick pay standard deduction to be discontinued”.