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Sweden to publish budget for 2021


Sweden to publish budget for 2021

Swedish government
Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/ AFP/ Getty Images

Sweden’s minority government is set to unveil the country’s 2021 budget today.

The country’s governing Social Democratic Party (S/SAP) and Green Party (MP) have revealed that the budget will include $11.4 billion in stimulus spending to help Sweden economically recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, with an additional $1.1 billion specifically allocated to fighting climate change.

With unemployment hitting nearly 10% between June and August and the country’s healthcare system largely overburdened by the demands of treating those infected, the government is under pressure to concentrate spending on unemployment relief and healthcare. Sweden has already expanded unemployment benefits and injected an extra $3.2 billion into the healthcare system, of which nearly $2 billion will be permanently added to this year’s budget.

Expect pushback against Sweden’s approach to combatting the virus and further calls to increase stimulus and healthcare spending, especially if a surge in COVID-19 cases is reported in the latter months of this year. The country’s lax approach to lockdowns and consideration of a herd immunity approach will likely give way to more stringent restrictions, akin to those of other parts of Western Europe. Moreover, expect increased debate about injecting billions more into the economy to support those struggling should a resurgence in cases occur.

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