Sweden: Opposition leaders united on tax cutsOpposition leaders united on tax cuts
The conservative opposition parties have come to an "historic agreement" over reforms to the Swedish taxation system. Buoyed with confidence following a two-day meeting in Bankeryd, the leaders of the four parties announced plans to invest at least 45 billion kronor in cuts in income tax. The leader of the Moderate Party, Fredrik Reinfeldt, declared that there is no longer a question mark over whether the conservative alliance was ready for power. Specifically, the agreement means that a conservative government - assuming, of course, that they pull off a victory in the September 2006 election - will initiate a 37 billion kronor cut in income tax by the end of 2007.
Conservative tax promises please Persson
Prime minister, Göran Persson, believes the conservative alliance's promises to make sweeping tax cuts plays into his hands with the election just over a year away. "Their proposal is very clear and demonstrates exactly the kind of things we've accused them of in the past. The election will be fought on our social model. If the conservatives win and get the chance to attack sick and unemployment benefit, that'll just be the beginning. This gives us the kind of election campaign we want." Persson responded by announcing some new initiatives from the Social Democrats: raised upper income thresholds for maternity and paternity pay and increased sick pay. They will also seek to alter the threshold for unemployment benefit so that more qualify to receive the maximum benefit of 80% of their latest salary.
"Give people in suburbs job preference"
Trying to get a job in Sweden can become a full-time occupation in itself. For people living in “segregated areas” it’s a near impossibility. That’s according to the government's discrimination investigator who wants to see them given preference in the job market. Employers should be forced to offer jobs to those living in segregated areas providing they have the same qualifications as other applicants. Kamali says the proposal shouldn't be seen as positive discrimination of immigrants. He believes it would benefit everyone, including Swedes, living in these segregated areas. "The government must act quickly and take drastic measures to combat discrimination and the rising ethnic segregation," he concluded.
From Radio Sweden:
The majority of Swedes support multi-culturalism here but would prefer to distance themselves from Muslim communities. That’s the finding of the latest integration survey.