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Swedish government starts feeling the heat from a more bullish opposition, Social Democrats as its record on job creation challenged.

Monday, 05 March 2012
The Swedish ruling coalition and Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, has now started real contest with the opposition, especially the Social Democrats whose new leaders seems to be a hard hitter. For the first time the government has been challenged in a real election manner such that the prime minister has appeared to go on the defensive.

Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, today rejects opposition criticism that too little is being done to combat unemployment. But the government's small parties seem to be criticising the Mr. Reinfeldt too, though implicitly by showing signs that they want to see new job ventures.

The Social Democrats' growing public support and its new business-friendly profile, as well as a deterioration in labour market, has increased the pressure on the government to reinforce job policy.

Reinfeldt thinks that his government has been successful so far.
“Very few countries have been able to show such an increase in job creation such as Sweden in recent years,” he said during a visit to a ventilation company in Enköping.
Source: Statistic Sweden's Labour Force Survey for January 2012.
The number of people employed has increased by a few hundred thousand since the election year of 2006 but the Social Democrats do not think it is particularly remarkable because the population also increased. Therefore, the employment rate has decreased slightly. Reinfeldt counter the decline and blamed it too partly due to the fact that many of the baby boomers of the 40s are now retiring. But authorities say that if the baby boomers are retiring would that not create openings for unemployed youths to take over?

“It is very serious that the government is signalling that it is satisfied with the situation,” says Ylva Johansson, Social Democrat’s labour market policy spokeswoman.
“No matter how you look at employment figures, unemployment today is eight percent. Within the government's smaller parties, the Christian Democrats (KD) and the Centre Party (C), have called for new efforts to combat unemployment in the autumn budget.”
“I think the government will do more and more needs to be done,” said Mats Odell, the Christian Democrats economic policy chief.

He wants that the government among other give real assistance to smaller businesses which are going bankrupt in their drove by reducing their costs such as abolishing or reducing sick pay liability for small businesses.

Centre party’s economic-policy spokesperson, Per Åsling means that there is the need for "strong measures". He also wants to see reduced sick pay liability for small businesses, but also reduced employer contributions and changes in the rules for employment.

“At a time when economic activity is declining, the State must be ready to accelerate means to stimulate entrepreneurship and to bring more people into work.

Already the Centre party wants to allow the government employment service to split the budget funds more freely, so as to give unemployed people the training that companies demand.
Finance Minister Anders Borg would not go into any proposals in the autumn budget or in the Spring Budget. He states that a new impetus must be given to youth unemployment.
By Team

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