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Johan Schück: tax Increases may be necessary, but is still a temporary resort
1. Sweden's municipalities and county councils, SKL, has just come up with a new economic forecast. What does is say?

the Message from the SALAR is that municipalities and county councils are facing a tough situation, mainly due to the changing demographics. The proportion of older people increases sharply and even the number of children rises, while the group of working age do not grow at the same rate. It has been a long time for this to happen, but now it is the crass reality.

– While this happens, Sweden into a weaker economy. The municipalities have had a relatively good economy in recent years, when a rapid increase in the number of employed persons has given increased tax revenue. But now is not growing the tax base as much, at the same time as costs are rising more than before.

2. The municipalities have during the autumn been anxious to lose the promised funding from the government. How it has gone, then the parliament finally decided on a budget for next year?

In the government's proposal for a transitional budget was missing the five billion In increased central government grants in 2019 as previously envisaged. It was due to the government in the current situation, considered itself prevented, by a formal reason. But an increase of local government grants was included in the Conservatives and the christian democrat reservation, which was approved by parliament, so now is the matter clear.

" It does not concern about future funding from the government, is out of the world. SKL expect that municipalities and county councils will join with the growing deficit of the state not to contribute more from 2020 onwards. For the period there are no promises from the rikspolitikerna, which means that it can be a serious problem unless the municipalities and county councils will find other ways.

3. The vast majority of health, education and social care managed by municipalities and county councils. How secure is the then welfare, given their increasingly challenging economy?

the SALAR speak quite rightly of growing välfärdsutmaningar, where not everything can be made dependent on the hopes of increased funding from the government. Tax increases may be necessary, but is still at its height, a temporary resort. Not even with the more money you can accomplish all that is needed, because the municipalities and county councils have great difficulty to recruit staff.

– Therefore, there will be a streamlining of the welfare sector, including increased use of it. Video surveillance of the elderly, instead of the frequent nattbesök from home, are also mentioned by SKL as an example. But at the same time, one must expect that the expansion of the welfare is slowed down, simply because the resources in terms of money and personnel is not sufficient to more than meet the demographic requirements.

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