What has happened to Sweden? We now have the highest number of gang-related shootings in Europe, with growing exclusion and soaring electricity prices – despite having the world’s fourth highest tax burden. Things cannot go on like this.
Sweden, once one of the safest countries in the world, is now one of the hardest hit countries in Europe when it comes to the lethal violence of gang crime. The country that used to promote itself as a role model when it comes to climate change is now burning oil to heat buildings when there is not enough wind. And the country that used to pride itself on its outstanding work ethic and social mobility opportunities for everyone now has 1.3 million people who are unable to support themselves.
It is absurd to think that Sweden has the most gang-related shootings in Europe but the third lowest police coverage. It is absurd to think that we are in a situation where one in three women is afraid to go out at night. That children are robbed and humiliated in the street. That convicted rapists receive greater compensation than their victims. Things cannot go on like this.
It is absurd that families can stack up their benefits so that accepting a job is ultimately not worthwhile for people who are capable of working. Absurd that employers are competing with the benefits system for workers. That exclusion and the number of deprived areas are increasing, despite decades of debate on the importance of integration. Things cannot go on like this.
It is absurd that fewer than half of all breast and prostate cancer sufferers receive care in time, that school results are falling and care for the elderly falls short in a country with the fourth highest tax burden in the world and where most people pay more than half of their income in taxes. Things cannot go on like this.
It is absurd for a country that has built much of its prosperity on unusually good access to fossil-free, reliable and affordable electricity in both the north and the south to actively phase out working nuclear power. Things cannot go on like this.
So how can we put Sweden in order?
No-one can deny that Sweden has major problems, but they can be resolved. All this requires a new government after the 2022 elections. A government that can work with everyone and get things done.
- Tackling crime requires tougher penalties that are proportionate to the severity of the crime. and a justice policy that protects victims more than perpetrators. Read more
- Tackling exclusion and dependency on benefits requires a policy that always makes it more profitable to work than to receive benefits. Read more
- Tackling the energy crisis requires an investment in nuclear power to secure electricity supplies and reduce our carbon footprint. Read more
- And we need to get value for tax money, in the form of welfare that does what it says on the tin. Read more