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Swedish government eyes 2022 election in budget for post-COVID growth

EconomySep 19, 2021 05:08PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sweden's Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson speaks in Stockholm, Sweden, January 18, 2021. Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency/via REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's minority government promised a 74 billion crown ($8.6 billion) boost for the economy in its 2022 budget, outlined by the finance minister on Sunday, hoping to woo voters and reverse a deficit in opinion polls ahead of next year's general election.

With many of the coalition's pandemic support measures being phased out, the budget is focused on shifting the economy to a longer-term growth path, with extra money for welfare, fighting climate change and boosting jobs.

"We are going to use the strength of the Swedish economy to build a society that is stronger and more sustainable than before the pandemic," Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said, summarizing the budget in the daily Dagens Nyheter.

The full budget will be published on Monday.

Sweden has bounced back from the pandemic quicker than most countries in Europe.

But challenges remain, including dealing with a surge in gang violence, reaching a target of net-zero emissions by 2045 and reversing an increase in social and economic inequality.

The centre-left bloc is lagging the opposition ahead of an election scheduled for September 2022 and the Social Democrat-Green coalition is hoping generous spending will win over voters.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is due to step down in November and Andersson is favoured to take over as leader of the Social Democrats. If she wins a confidence vote in parliament, she will become Sweden's first female premier.

($1 = 8.6185 Swedish crowns)

Swedish government eyes 2022 election in budget for post-COVID growth
 

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