Most of the measures are linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, with money set aside for the healthcare sector and business support, but there were also cash boosts announced to support rural areas, climate policy, and law and order.
“This is a budget for how we can work, together, to get Sweden out of the crisis,” said Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson at the presentation of the measures on Thursday. This comes amid a rise in newly reported cases and intensive care admissions for Covid-19, with Sweden one of the European countries worst hit by a third wave of the virus.
She said the government was expecting that Sweden will lift many of its coronavirus measures this autumn, such as restricted opening times for restaurants and limits on customer numbers in many establishments. But that depends on the development of the pandemic.
“We still have the restrictions in place now during the spring, but the restrictions might be lifted in autumn. But if the vaccination programme is delayed, then it will take longer before they can be relaxed and longer before the economy can ‘restart’,” she explained.
The 45 billion kronor is made up of a separate amendment budget as well as 22 billion kronor which are part of the spring budget.
Unsurprisingly, a large chunk of the money will go directly to the healthcare sector, including 1.65 billion for testing and contact tracing work, one billion for buying more vaccine doses and 700 million to Sweden’s 21 regions to help them carry out vaccinations. An injection of two billion kronor will not only support healthcare directly related to Covid-19 but also other care that has been postponed due to the pandemic.
“Money cannot, must not, will not be an obstacle in limiting the spread of infection or in caring for the sick,” said Andersson.
The Finance Minister also announced several other measures, including Swedish language courses, summer jobs and extending business crisis support and coronavirus sick pay rules. Here’s The Local’s in-depth explainer on what the budget means for you.
Sweden has presented its 2021 spring budget, designed to help the country recover when the coronavirus crisis ends. Here's The Local's round-up of some of the key proposals and how they may affect you. https://t.co/KRJTtklOgJ
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