Reforms on gender equality, working life and efforts to combat racism and discrimination – Budget Bill for 2024
The Government’s Budget Bill for 2024 proposes initiatives to combat and prevent honour-based violence and oppression, and racism and discrimination. The Government also intends to take measures to combat wage guarantee abuse. The proposals are based on an agreement between the Government and the Sweden Democrats. On 20 September, the Government presented the Budget Bill for 2024 to the Riksdag.
Enhanced efforts to combat honour-based violence and oppression
Honour-based violence and oppression restrict people’s lives and subject them to coercion and violence aimed at maintaining family control over the individual. People subjected to this form of violence and oppression are a very vulnerable group consisting primarily of girls and young women. Honour-based violence and oppression demand increased attention and visibility so that they can be prevented and combated more effectively. The Government has therefore appointed an inquiry chair whose task includes determining whether a specific gender equality policy target should be introduced for preventing and combating? honour-based violence and oppression. To prevent and combat honour-based violence and oppression, intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, and prostitution and human trafficking, the Government has allocated almost SEK 600 million so far this year to fund assignments to various government agencies. As part of these intensified efforts, the Swedish Gender Equality Agency has now been tasked with surveying and analysing the incidence of child marriages, forced marriages and polygamy in Sweden.
In the budget for 2024, the Government has proposed a three-year investment SEK 50 million per year in strengthening efforts to prevent and combat honour-based violence and oppression. The investment will be in addition to the resources permanently allocated to this area, which total more than SEK 350 million annually.
Government allocates funds to combat racism
Initiatives under Sweden’s national plan to combat racism, similar forms of hostility and hate crime, adopted in 2016, have contributed to greater awareness of the challenges that racism and discrimination continue to pose in many areas of society. To continue this work, the Government now intends to allocate SEK 20 million for 2024 and SEK 10 million for 2025 and 2026 to enhance efforts to combat racism and other expressions of xenophobia and discrimination. As a result, approximately SEK 48.5 million will be available for these initiatives next year.
This additional funding makes it possible to maintain the high level of ambition in efforts to prevent and combat various forms of racism and other expressions of xenophobia. The emphasis will be on improving knowledge in this area and paving the way? for it to be used by relevant actors. It is also important to develop a structure for efforts to combat racism and hate crime.
Measures to combat wage guarantee abuse
The national wage guarantee system has been subjected to fraud, including by organised crime. To combat abuse, controls must be improved. The Government therefore intends to move the responsibility for wage guarantee payments from the county administrative boards to the Swedish Tax Agency and carry out a major review of the wage guarantee system.
Based on some of the proposals in the Swedish Tax Agency memorandum on the wage guarantee system (A2022/01136), the Government intends to make necessary regulatory amendments to move the responsibilty for wage guarantee payments from seven county administrative boards to the Swedish Tax Agency. The Government proposes increasing the Swedish Tax Agency’s appropriation by SEK 20.2 million starting in 2025 to implement controls of wage guarantee cases and for wage guarantee payments.
To further reduce the scope for abuse and combat incorrect payments, the Government also intends to appoint an inquiry to conduct a major review of the wage guarantee system.