STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The Swedish minority government has pledged a 74 billion crown ($ 8.6 billion) boost to the economy in its 2022 budget, presented by the finance minister on Sunday, in hopes of seduce voters and reverse a deficit in opinion polls ahead of the general election next year. election.
With the phasing out of many of the coalition’s pandemic support measures, the budget is focused on transitioning the economy to a longer-term growth path, with additional funds for welfare, the fight against climate change and job creation.
“We will use the strength of the Swedish economy to build a stronger and more sustainable society than before the pandemic,” said Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, summarizing the budget in the daily Dagens Nyheter.
The full budget will be released on Monday.
Sweden has recovered from the pandemic faster than most countries in Europe.
But challenges remain, including addressing an upsurge in gang violence, achieving a goal of net zero emissions by 2045, and reversing rising social and economic inequalities.
The center-left bloc is lagging behind the opposition ahead of the elections scheduled for September 2022 and the Social Democratic-Green coalition is hoping generous spending will win over voters.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is due to resign in November and Andersson is preferred to succeed the head of the Social Democrats. If she wins a vote of confidence in parliament, she will become Sweden’s first female prime minister.
($ 1 = 8.6185 Swedish kronor)
(Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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