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Sweden's budget for 2012 to ensure safe public finance

09-21-2011 11:21 BJT

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Swedish government Tuesday announced its budget for 2012 and vowed to take responsibility and ensure safe public finance in turbulent times.

"To offset the effects of the crisis, improve long-term job and growth prospects and strengthen welfare, the government is proposing measures totaling 15 billion Swedish kronor (about 2.2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012 and 17.3 billion Swedish kronor (about 2.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2013," it said in a statement.

"The Government is taking responsibility for ensuring that Sweden is well equipped to meet the consequences of the budgetary uncertainties in the countries around us," explained Finance Minister Anders Borg in the statement.

"People must be able to feel confident that schools, health care and social services will function even when other countries are experiencing unsettled times. And by safeguarding a security buffer, we also making sure we have room to manoeuvre so as to meet worse developments," Borg added.

In the Budget Bill for 2012, priorities are given to measures to address the slowdown, achieve sustainably higher growth and employment, ensure the welfare and increase the stability of the financial system.

Specific measures include infrastructure investment such as road and railway building and maintenance and a labor market package to prevent long-term unemployment.

Reducing VAT tax on restaurant and catering services to create jobs for young people and stimulate entrepreneurship, improved conditions for business and savings, reform on dependence on financial assistance and improve the level of innovation in the economy are also going to be carried out.

Measures to improve quality, accessibility and choice in health and social services and adjustments to the sickness insurance reform as well as higher housing allowance for young people and families with children are also announced.

To ensure financial stability, the budget for Finansinspektionen (the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority) is substantially increased and the capital adequacy requirement for banks is also raised, partly to reduce default risks, partly to reduce taxpayers' costs.

Tax cuts are the government's reform ambitions, but it will largely depend on the economic situation whether the policies will be carried out.

Sweden's growth prediction for 2012 has been slowed down to 1.3 percent from 4.3 percent this year.


Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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