The Government presents the 2019 Spring Budget
Today the Government is presenting a spring amending budget and its guidelines for economic policy. The Spring Fiscal Policy Bill and the proposals in the Spring Amending Budget are based on the January Agreement, the policy agreement between the Swedish Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Green Party.
“Using the January Agreement as the foundation, we are now building change that is sustainable over time. We want to create conditions for a society where cohesion and security go hand in hand with people’s freedom and opportunities, and the transition to a fossil-free welfare nation. This is how we will move Sweden forward,” says Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson.
Sweden’s economy is strong
The economic situation has improved in Sweden in recent years and growth has been high. However, in recent times there have been several indicators to suggest that economic development has dropped somewhat, which suggests that growth will slow in 2019.
The surplus in public finances is expected to be lower this year than in 2018.
“To ensure long-term sustainable public finances, the fiscal policy framework agreement must be safeguarded. The measures we’re presenting in the Spring Budget are therefore financed krona for krona,” says Ms Andersson.
Sweden’s social problems must be solved
The Government has designed the Spring Budget based on the January Agreement. The Agreement contains reforms to get more people in work, strengthen the welfare system, enable the entire country to grow and ensure that Sweden is a fossil-free pioneer.
More people in work
Work is the most important prerequisite for earning a living and becoming established in society. A high level of employment is also the foundation of our common welfare system. The employment rate in Sweden is the highest in over 25 years and the highest in the EU. Despite this positive trend, there are still major problems in the labour market. The Government will therefore pursue a policy that prioritises jobs and promotes the business sector’s sustainable transition and competitiveness. The threshold to the first job must be lowered. Around SEK 1.1 billion has been provided to the Spring Amending Budget, including for extending the reduction of employers’ social security contributions for the first employee and equipping jobseekers to match employer needs.
Strengthened welfare system
Sweden will continue to be a leading welfare nation. A well-designed universal and tax-financed welfare system is important for improving people’s living conditions and contributing to equity and gender equality. It also promotes good economic growth. The need for welfare services increases as the population grows, especially when there are more children and older people. The Government is therefore providing an additional SEK 0.9 billion for additional funds to the state assistance allowance and more teaching assistants in schools.
Growth throughout the country
Our policies must benefit the entire country. Rural and sparsely populated areas, as well as small and large urban areas, must be able to develop. The Government is therefore investing SEK 0.5 billion in the Spring Amending Budget for support to agriculture due to extreme weather and for broadband expansion.
Sweden a fossil-free pioneer
The overall objective of environmental policy is to be able to pass on to the next generation a society in which the major environmental problems have been solved. Sweden will lead the way in climate and environmental action. The Government is therefore strengthening its environmental and climate action by around SEK 2.0 billion, including by reinforcing both the Climate Leap and the Green Industry Leap.