In a report based on new data from Statistics Sweden, which is presented today, the Liberals have looked at how the next recession will affect the most vulnerable on the Swedish labour market.
Writing in Dagens Industri (DI), economic spokesperson for the Liberals, Mats Persson, states that those who are currently unemployed come from two main groups: people born outside of Sweden and those who do not have an upper-secondary school education. The situation is particularly serious for foreign-born women; almost 30 per cent of women born outside of Europe of working age have no job.
The new report shows that in the past three recessions in Sweden since 1990, the employment rate among both groups has fallen by nine percentage points, which is around 250,000 people. Mats Persson writes, “A labour market that does not work for these groups during an economic boom is a labour market that knocks out many during a recession.” Political courage is needed to push through reforms for a labour market on which everyone is necessary.
DI reported yesterday that research is under threat from nuclear power plant closures, as scientists leave Sweden.
Liberal party leader Jan Björklund has reacted angrily, “In practice the government is reintroducing the “thought-ban” laws (Act from 1986 prohibiting construction of nuclear power stations – ed.) by strangling funding.”
Björklund wants to construct a new research reactor to study the fourth generation of nuclear power energy. Both the Moderates and Vattenfall’s CEO Magnus Hall are in agreement.
However the government dismisses the criticism. “We aim to be an eminent research nation, but it is not the government that controls in detail which research should be financed,” says Research Minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson (S). (DI: 11)
After the Social Democratic conference in May this year, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said he was open to the idea of using Sweden’s national AP pension funds to fund infrastructure projects such as the North Bothnia railway line.
While the North Bothnia line may well be a stated preference project, it is not one that will generate the necessary return for the pension funds. The stated aim of the funds is in fact to generate the best possible return over time for Sweden’s pensioner, not to realise political projects, write Liberal leader Jan Björklund and Mats Persson, Liberal member of the Riksdag’s pensions’ group.
This is why the Liberal Party will use their veto to stop a recent proposal to set up a new authority to manage the pension funds, which together have assets of more than SKr 1,000 billion.