Government presents 2022 Spring Fiscal Policy Bill
Today, the Government is presenting the 2022 Spring Fiscal Policy Bill and the Spring Amending Budget for 2022. In light of the deteriorating security situation, the Government is presenting a budget to strengthen Sweden that includes both immediate investment and long-term measures to address societal challenges.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is unprovoked, illegal and unjustifiable. The Government continues to support Ukraine, push for sanctions against Russia and strengthen Sweden, as it has since the start of the war. A stronger Sweden also requires a continued long-term struggle to address societal challenges. In the Spring Amending Budget, the Government proposes measures totalling SEK 31.4 billion. Together with the additional amending budgets the Riksdag has adopted since March this year and the Riksdag’s committee initiative on support to Ukraine, a total of SEK 35.4 billion has been allocated to strengthen Sweden and support Ukraine.
“The Government is now presenting a budget to strengthen Sweden,” says Minister for Finance Mikael Damberg. “We’re continuing the greatest upgrade of our military defence since the Second World War and fortify society’s defences with strengthened civil preparedness and enhanced welfare. We’re accelerating the transition to fossil-free fuels for security, jobs and the environment. We’re also mitigating the war’s economic effects on Swedish households and businesses.”
Measures to strengthen Sweden
Strengthening of Sweden’s total defence
An armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out. It is important to strengthen Sweden’s defence capability in the short term and accelerate the upgrade Appropriations to military defence have therefore been increased. The Government is now also presenting proposals to strengthen civil defence. These measures will contribute to the municipalities’ crisis preparedness and civil defence, and enhance the protection of the civilian population through improvements to civil defence shelters and warning systems. Our military and civil preparedness are interdependent.
Support to Ukraine and initiatives for orderly reception of refugees throughout Sweden
Sweden provides both economic and humanitarian support to Ukraine. It has also provided support to Ukraine’s armed forces in the form of financial contributions and defence materiel. Sweden has not done anything like this since the Soviet Union attacked Finland in 1939. Together with other EU Member States, Sweden has imposed sweeping sanctions against Russia and Russian government officials. In these uncertain times, the Member States stand strongly united.
Many people have been forced to flee Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion. They are primarily making their way to neighbouring countries, but many are also coming to Sweden. For this reason, Sweden’s reception system capacities have quickly been expanded, and the Government is therefore allocating substantially increased funds to enable this new situation to be managed effectively. The Government also proposes temporary additional support to the municipalities assuming responsibility for reception. Reception will be more evenly distributed between municipalities throughout the country. It is proposed that additional funds be allocated to support the important initiatives of civil society organisations.
Mitigate effects on Swedish households and businesses
The Swedish people have recently been impacted by rising prices, particularly for food, fuel and electricity. These price increases cannot be fully compensated for, but to mitigate the economic effects, the Government has presented a package of measures including compensation for high electricity and fuel prices, and reduced fuel tax. To specifically protect households in weak financial situations, a temporary increase of the housing allowance for families with children will also be introduced.
At the proposal of the Government, a modified version of compensatory payments for electricity prices has been extended by an additional month for electricity consumers in southern and central Sweden to support households affected by high electricity prices.
Prices of certain agricultural inputs have also risen recently. The Government therefore proposes temporary support aimed at greenhouse businesses and the pig and poultry sectors, and a temporary tax reduction on diesel in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture.
The Government will leave no stone unturned in pushing back against violence and crime, and breaking segregation. More people must join the workforce and become part of their communities. The Government is working to introduce entry agreements in the first half of 2022, as proposed by the social partners, so that more new arrivals and long-term unemployed will get jobs and thus establish themselves in the labour market. To promote this introduction, the Government proposes a specific additional allocation to the Swedish Public Employment Service.
Creating jobs by accelerating the green transition
Dependence on fossil fuels is environmentally unsustainable in the long term and can constitute a security risk. Sweden is at the vanguard of the green transition, thanks to extensive green investments and a clear policy direction. The Government now proposes additional measures to accelerate the green transition and create green jobs, including increased environmental compensation to strengthen the competitiveness of railways and stimulate the shift of freight transport from road to rail. Sales of cars that qualify for the climate bonus have increased more rapidly than expected. To maintain the pace of electrification of the transport sector, the Government proposes allocating additional funds for the climate bonus.
Taking back democratic control over the welfare system and ensuring secure social insurance and pensions
The pandemic has highlighted the need for, and importance of, a strong welfare system. The Government therefore proposes a specific additional allocation to increase health care capacity. This includes increasing the number of hospital beds, employing more care workers, such as nurses, and improving the work environment. In addition, a number of investments are being made to enhance crisis preparedness and civil defence in the health sector.
Everyone who works and builds Sweden must have secure social insurance and future pensions. It is about respect for those who have helped to build our country. To improve the financial situation of pensioners on lowest income, the Government proposes a guarantee supplement that provides around 500 000 pensioners with an additional SEK 1 000 per month. This is especially important as prices rise. A total of just over one million pensioners will be in a stronger financial position as of August 2022.
Continued pandemic response
The Government and the Riksdag have taken a large number of measures to respond to the pandemic and its impacts. The Government proposes additional funds for continued pandemic response and to manage the costs that arose early in the year when transmission rates were high. These measures include ensuring that everyone can get a fourth vaccine dose, if necessary. A total of almost SEK 600 billion has been provided to respond to the pandemic and restart the economy.
Swedish economy shows resilience and labour market situation improving
The Swedish economy has made a strong recovery in the wake of the pandemic and the growth outlook for this year is fundamentally stable. However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine creates uncertainty and is expected to impact the economic trend. Growth is expected to be lower than would otherwise have been the case, while inflation is expected to be higher. Nevertheless, the Swedish economy is resilient thanks to its strong public finances.
The labour market situation has clearly improved, and the employment rate is now higher than before the pandemic broke out. More people need the financial security and independence that a job provides. Everyone who can work should work.
Press Secretary to the Minister for Finance Mikael Damberg
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 73 074 05 57
email to Mirjam Kontio