Press release from Ministry of Finance

Crisis package for Swedish businesses and jobs

Published

The Government is now presenting additional measures to mitigate the financial impact of the virus outbreak. The proposals are based on an agreement between the Swedish Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Green Party.

The Government intends to present the proposals to the Riksdag in the additional amending budget that the Government will adopt on 19 March.

The crisis package now presented can – depending on how the situation develops – encompass more than SEK 300 billion if the entire liquidity reinforcement through tax accounts is used.

Short-term layoffs introduced today

This proposal means that employers’ wage costs can be halved, in that central government will cover a larger share of the costs. This model is similar to short-time work, but the subsidy level is significantly increased. The employee receives more than 90 per cent of their wage. The aim is to save Swedish jobs.

It is proposed that the proposal on short-term layoffs enter into force on 7 April and be in effect throughout 2020, but be applied from today, 16 March.

Central government to assume sick pay responsibility for two months

It is proposed that central government assume the entire cost of all sick pay during April and May. Self-employed persons will also be compensated in that they can receive standardised sick pay for days 1–14.

Liquidity reinforcement via tax accounts

Under this proposal, companies can defer payment of employers’ social security contributions, preliminary tax on salaries and value added tax that are reported monthly or quarterly.

Company payment respite covers tax payments for three months and is granted for up to 12 months. This replaces the previously presented proposal.

It is proposed that the new regulations take effect on 7 April 2020, but can be retroactively applied from 1 January 2020. This means that companies that have paid into their tax account for January to March can receive repayment of the tax from the Swedish Tax Agency. Payment respite will not be granted to companies that mismanage their finances or are in some other way unethical. Nor will respite be granted to companies that have large tax debts.

The proposals on respite and short-term layoffs will now proceed to the Council on Legislation for fast-track consideration.

Overall economic measures in Sweden so far

  • Central government will compensate municipalities and regions for extraordinary measures and extra costs in health and medical care associated with the COVID-19 virus.
  • To reduce the risk of the virus spreading in society, the qualifying day for sick pay will be discontinued between 11 March and 31 May, in that central government will pay sickness benefit for the first day of sickness.
  • The Public Health Agency of Sweden, the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Medical Products Agency will be allocated additional resources.
  • Resources for the disease carrier’s allowance will be increased, as it is assumed that the number of individuals entitled to this benefit will increase.
  • Central government will temporarily assume responsibility for sick pay for two months.
  • Liquidity reinforcement is given via tax accounts for VAT, employers’ social security contributions and employees’ preliminary tax from 1 January 2020.
  • Short-term layoffs introduced as of 16 March.
  • In addition to the Government’s measures, the Riksbank has announced that it is loaning up to SEK 500 billion to companies via the banks to safeguard credit supply. Finansinspektionen (the Swedish financial supervisory authority) has announced that it is lowering the countercyclical capital buffer to zero to safeguard a well-functioning credit supply.

Press contact

Johan Ekström
Press Secretary to the Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 73 086 32 01
email to Johan Ekström
Anna Simon-Karlsson
Press Secretary, Centre Party
Mobile +46 73 065 94 25
Adam Alfredsson
Head of Press Service, Liberal Party
Mobile +46 70 298 67 90
Hanna Björnfors
Press Secretary to the Minister for Financial Markets and Housing Per Bolund
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 73 509 26 05
email to Hanna Björnfors