Welfare more important than low taxes

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The need of resources to nursing and care services and education is according to the majority of Swedish voters a sufficient motive to raise taxes. This is one of the findings of an opinion poll carried out by a polltaking company by order of LO. Furthermore, three out of four surveyees find it unfair that those who are on sick-leave, unemployed or pensioners pay higher taxes than those who have a job.

In the poll, 1.000 persons from the general public were asked to give their opinion on whether it is fair that people whose sources of income are sickness compensation, unemployment benefit or pension, pay higher taxes than those with income from a job. This is the tax policy pursued by the present government and there is hardly any support for it. As many as 75 per cent out of the surveyees find it unfair that those who are ill, unemployed or in retirement pay higher taxes than those who have a job.

LO President Wanja Lundby-Wedin comments the result in an article published on the website of the daily Göteborgs-Posten. “Tax reductions in favour of those who have a job have led to an extensive transfer of income - from the sick, unemployed and pensioners to those with good incomes. It is a fact that unemployment or illness always result in a lower income. But the policy introduced by the non-socialist government means that those with sickness compensation, the unemployed and pensioners pay even higher taxes than those with income from a gainful activity. This policy is not backed by the citizens.”

Questions were also put on whether the need for resources within the fields of education, health care and nursing can constitute a motive for an increase in taxes. A majority of those who replied, 56 per cent, agreed to this, wholly or largely. 24 per cent agreed to some extent. Only one out of ten surveyees did not agree to the statement that resources to education, care and nursing are a sufficient motive for tax raises.

There is in other words a large support for increased means to municipalities and county councils, Wanja Lundby-Wedin continues in the website article. This is well in line with the opinions I encounter when I meet people at places of work. I seldom meet workers who would say that tax cuts are important. But I meet many people who are worried for instance about their elderly parents not getting the health care they need. People in Sweden want a fair society.