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Alliance for Sweden

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Alliance for Sweden

The Alliance (Swedish: Alliansen), formerly Alliance for Sweden (Swedish: Allians för Sverige), is a political alliance in Sweden. It consists of the four centre-right parties in the Riksdag. Although it was formed while in opposition, it achieved a majority government in the 2006 general election and a minority government in the 2010 general election forming the current government of Sweden.

The Alliance are co-chaired by every party's leader.

Members of the Alliance

The Alliance consists of the four centre-right (Swedish: borgerlig, lit. "bourgeois") parties in the Riksdag (Sweden's parliament). The members are:

History of the Alliance

Swedish politics had been dominated by the Social Democratic Party for over 70 years. They had been in government for all but nine years (summer of 1936, 1976–1982, 1991–1994) since 1932. The opposition parties decided that this was partly because they did not present a clear and viable alternative government. At a meeting held in the Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson's home in the village of Högfors, the four party leaders decided to form an alliance. The meeting ended on 31 August 2004 with the presentation of a joint declaration outlining the principles under which the four parties intended to fight the election.[1] A year later a similar meeting was held at Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund's home in Bankeryd, resulting in the affirmation of the alliance and another declaration.[2]

Aims and policies of the Alliance



Alliance for Sweden aimed to win a majority of seats in the 2006 Riksdag elections and form a coalition government. In order to do this, the member parties decided to issue common policy statements and to have a joint election manifesto. Each individual party still had its own manifesto and policies, but these will build up from common proposals in the Alliance's joint proposals. The Alliance has policy working groups for six areas: economic policy, education policy, foreign policy, the welfare state, employment and business policy, and policing.

An example of this policy cooperation was the budget proposal that the Alliance parties put forward on 2 October 2005. The core proposal was a tax cut of 49 billion Swedish kronor, which is 1.9% of GDP and 3.3% of the total income of the public sector in 2005.[3] Each individual party also proposed its own policies in addition. For example, the Liberal People's Party want to spend 1bn kronor extra on tertiary education and the Christian Democrats want to have more benefits and tax deductions for families.

On 14 June 2006 Alliance for Sweden agreed on a common energy policy. It will apply over the next parliamentary term (2006–2010), and includes a promise not to shut down any more nuclear reactors during that period (Barsebäck 2 was shut down in 2005). The proposal is that no more reactors are to be built, that the nuclear phase-out law will be repealed and that all forms of energy research will be legal and able to receive state grants (research on nuclear power is currently forbidden in Sweden). An Alliance government would also grant any applications to increase the output of the existing plants, provided that it would be safe to do so.[4] This has been hailed as a historic step, as disagreement over nuclear power has long plagued the centre-right in Sweden: the Centre Party opposes nuclear power, the Moderates and Christian Democrats support its continuing operation while the Liberal People's Party want to build more reactors. Some doubts have been raised about the long-term survival of this compromise, as neither the Centre Party nor the Liberal People's Party have changed their fundamental positions on nuclear power.

On 5 July 2006, during the politics week at Almedalen on Gotland, the Alliance parties announced a plan to abolish property tax. Their agreement promises to freeze taxable values at the current level (so that the revaluation that is being carried out will not apply), and to reduce the rate of tax on apartments from 0.5% to 0.4% of their taxable value.[5] A ceiling of 5000 kronor will also be imposed on the taxation of the value of a house's plot. The parties are also agreed on the abolition of the tax and its replacement with a municipal charge independent of the value of the property; this reform is planned to be carried out in 2008. Property tax is estimated to bring in 28.1 billion kronor in 2006, rising to 30.2bn in 2007 and 32.2bn in 2008 (as taxable values rise). The first stage of the Alliance's plan (freezing property values, capping the tax on land value and reducing the rate for apartments) is estimated to cost around 4-5 billion kronor. The financing of this is to be revealed in the Alliance's manifesto in August 2006.

Alliance for Sweden released its election manifesto,[6] entitled More people at work - more to share (Swedish: Fler i arbete - mer att dela på), on 23 August 2006.

The result of the election was clear enough on election night for Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt to declare himself the victor and for Göran Persson to announce his resignation as Prime Minister and as leader of the Social Democratic Party. The four centre-right parties of Alliance for Sweden formed a government with Fredrik Reinfeldt as Prime Minister, which was presented to the Riksdag on 6 October.

The Alliance in government

Minister for Finance Anders Borg presented the government's first budget[7] on 16 October 2006. The budget contains many of the proposals that were prominent in the Alliance's election campaign: both the job deduction in the income tax, which will also be larger for old people to encourage them to remain in the labour market, and the "fresh start jobs" with reduced payroll tax for companies employing people who have been unemployed for more than a year will come into effect from 1 January 2007. Tax reductions for companies hiring young people and for domestic services are to come into effect on 1 July. The tax reductions announced in the budget total 42 billion Swedish kronor,[8] of which the income tax deduction is 38.7 billion. Other changes include the ending of employers' co-financing of sickness benefit after the second week and reduction of unemployment benefit. Unemployment benefit will remain 80% of previous pay for 200 days then drop to 70%. Benefit will be payable for a maximum of 300 days, or 450 if the recipient has children.

See also

References

External links

  • (Swedish)
  • Official website of the government of Sweden (English)
  • - the Alliance's joint manifesto (Swedish)
  • - the budget for 2007 (English)
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