Principles for a caretaker government’s Budget Bill

Sweden is being governed by a caretaker government. Under Swedish law, a Budget Bill must be submitted by 15 November. Unless a new government takes office soon, the caretaker government will submit a Budget Bill. The Government will outline the principles that guide work on the Budget Bill at a press seminar today.

“Sweden must have a central government budget. No caretaker government has previously submitted a Budget Bill. The Government is therefore trying to establish good practice that will enable a new government to shape its own economic policy,” says Magdalena Andersson.

The Instrument of Government, the Riksdag Act and the Budget Act contain provisions on the Budget Bill and its contents. These also apply to a Budget Bill submitted by a caretaker government.

A memorandum from the Prime Minister’s Office contains certain guidelines on a caretaker government’s powers, which have been used in examining previous caretaker governments.¹ According to the guidelines, a caretaker government should only take decisions on ongoing or urgent matters and not submit government bills that are politically controversial or have a clear party political direction. In addition, the Instrument of Government makes clear that the most recently adopted budget will continue to apply if the Riksdag has not adopted a new budget.

In light of this, special principles have been developed for the design of this bill.

The Government has considered that the budget for 2019 should be designed based on the budget adopted for 2018, with the following general adjustments:

  • Appropriations used for administrative and investment purposes will be recalculated as regards price and wages in the usual manner. Appropriations regarding rule-governed transfer systems will be adjusted on the basis of macroeconomic developments and altered volumes (such as the number of people covered).
  • Appropriations will be adjusted as a result of adopted acts and ordinances, international agreements, agreements binding under civil law or EU legal instruments.
  • Appropriations will be adjusted if the Riksdag decides to move purposes and activities between expenditure areas.
  • Appropriations will be adjusted if this is needed to maintain vital societal functions.
  • To ensure that activities based on an authorisation to place orders for the coming year are given the conditions to operate at the same level in 2019–2021, the appropriation levels for all years will be adjusted with regard to the level of expected realisation of the economic commitments for 2019.
  • Legislative proposals that are politically uncontroversial and that cannot be implemented during the ongoing fiscal year will be included where there is political consensus on them.

Consideration will be given to corresponding principles on the revenue side where applicable.

If the Budget Bill is submitted by a caretaker government on 15 November, a new government will be able to propose adjustments and supplements to the central government budget in an amending budget next year.

¹The Prime Minister's Office’s memorandum En övergångsregerings befogenheter (The powers of a caretaker government), SB PM 1990:1, revised 7 July 2014

Contact

Gösta Brunnander
Press Secretary to Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 (0)72-544 28 66
email to Gösta Brunnander, via senior registry clerk
Fredrika Lindsjö Hermelin
Head of Communications, Ministry of Finance
Phone + 46 8 405 16 19
email to Fredrika Lindsjö Hermelin, via senior registry clerk