Sweden: Government to increase taxes to pay refugee bill, while fining municipality for refusing migrants
The municipality of Hultsfred, Sweden, is one of the municipals which took in the highest number of refugees per capita. By the end of 2016, the municipality had to stop the influx of refugees, because police officers, school teachers, social workers and administrators working with or within Sweden’s immigration ‘industry’ sounded the alarm and claimed that they were no longer able to handle the situation.
Now, Hultsfred received a message from the Swedish government that because of this, they will be fined 1 million Swedish crowns (approximately €100.000) unless the municipality reversed its decision before September 1st, 2017.
Lars Rosander, the Mayor of the municipality of Hultsfred said:
“The decision came today and we’re aware that we violate the Social Services Act. But if we do not break it, we violate other laws, such as the Working Environment Act. We will appeal to the administrative court.”
He furthermore stated that their decision to stop taking in migrants was never meant “to be forever.”
Finally, he stated that due to the refugees, long waiting lists occurred at schools and kindergartens. And especially that:
“If all the municipalities in the country had taken responsibility for the influx, we would not have had this situation. We have been taking an unreasonable burden.”
Paying the cost by increasing taxes
The problems in Hultsfred are not an isolated incident. In Sweden’s Finance Spring Report, conclusions were made that far-reaching investments and increased efficiency are necessary for Sweden to survive their refugee influx.
Hundreds of new schools, group homes and sports facilities need to be built, and public transport and other municipality services need to be upgraded because immigration and an ageing native population entail a rapidly increasing population total.
Chief economist and Sweden’s municipalities and county council Chairman Lena Micko states:
“The costs have risen enormously over the last two years, especially in 2016, because of the refugee crisis.”
But there is already a solution in the works, as Micko continues:
“The demographic needs press for tax increases as a strong priority.“
Yes, by raising taxes.