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The Swedish finance ministry has recently unveiled details of Sweden’s 2013 budget bill, providing for a raft of fiscal measures aimed at boosting growth and employment and totalling around SEK22.7bn (USD29.6bn) next year.
In the budget for 2013, the government proposes total expenditures of SEK837.2bn and revenue is estimated at SEK829.6bn.
Within the framework of the bill, the government has proposed a series of fiscal measures targeting vulnerable groups and low-income households in Sweden. Key measures include plans to lower taxes for pensioners.
Determined to improve conditions for growth and competitiveness, the government plans to invest in infrastructure, research and innovation. The government also plans to improve conditions for enterprise and entrepreneurship to ensure that the Swedish economy remains competitive.
To this end, the government plans crucially to cut the corporate tax rate from 26.3% currently to 22% to improve prospects for new jobs and investment.
The government has also announced plans to continue work on preventative measures to maintain financial stability, to reduce the risk of recourse to taxpayers if banks take unnecessary risks and to strengthen consumer protection.
In all, the finance ministry expects gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by 1.6% in 2012 and by 2.7% in 2013. Public finances are expected to show a limited deficit in both 2012 and 2013.
The budget still leaves margins to further stimulate the economy should the crisis in the euro area deepen.
Commenting on the 2013 budget bill, Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg said:
“The responsible policy conducted by the government has served Sweden well. Growth and employment have developed better than in most other countries in our region, while our public finances are among the strongest in the EU. Because of this, we can now turn our attention away from emergency crisis management and focus on investing in the future, getting more people into work and further strengthening Sweden's strong position.”
He added: “The budget for 2013 means that we can be expansive, but still have safety margins in case of a severe economic slowdown."
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