Further additional funding to municipalities and regions
Many municipalities and regions have been hit hard financially by the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. The Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party therefore intend to propose additional funding totalling SEK 22 billion in the spring amending budget for 2020, which will be presented on 15 April. This additional funding will be provided both as increased general government grants and an increased amount to cover additional health care and social services costs.
Increased general government grants this year and in the years ahead
It is proposed that municipalities and regions receive an additional SEK 20 billion in general government grants this year, rather than the SEK 5 billion previously announced by the Government. This new additional funding of SEK 15 billion for 2020 is being provided to strengthen the ability of the local government sector to maintain essential services such as health care, education, social services and public transport.
Of the total increase of SEK 20 billion, SEK 12.5 billion is a permanent increase in appropriations; in other words, this is money that municipalities and regions will also have at their disposal in the years ahead.
Increased funds to compensate municipalities and regions for extraordinary costs
The Riksdag has adopted a Government proposal under which municipalities and regions will be compensated for additional costs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government now expects that the costs will be higher than previously estimated. This is why an additional SEK 2 billion has been proposed, bringing the total to SEK 3 billion. The high demand for personal protective equipment and intensive care beds is the main reason that higher costs for health care and social services are expected.
More flexible rules for the ‘waiting list billion’
The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) has requested more flexible rules for the ‘waiting list billion’. The Government will therefore propose that large parts of the performance requirements be temporarily removed for 2020. This means that around SEK 2 billion that previously would only been paid to the regions meeting these requirements will be paid to all regions based on the size of their population. The Government is now entering into a dialogue with SALAR on this issue.
Other measures in the spring amending budget
The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has led to a sharp increase in the number of calls to 113 13, the crisis information number run by SOS Alarm. The Government therefore proposes that appropriations to SOS Alarm be increased by SEK 15 million in 2020 to finance additional staffing costs resulting from the increased pressure on its services.
The Government is also looking at several different ways of reducing the administrative burden on the local government sector and making management of the COVID-19 virus easier, for example, by changing follow-up and reporting requirements for targeted government grants and agreements. Intensive and wide-ranging efforts are ongoing and the Government intends to make more concrete proposals when practicable.
The proposals are based on an agreement between the Swedish Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Green Party.
Press Secretary to the Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 73 074 05 57
email to Mirjam Kontio
Press Secretary, Centre Party
Mobile +46 73 065 94 25
Head of Press Service, Liberal Party
Mobile +46 70 298 67 90