Löfven II Cabinet
The second cabinet of Stefan Löfven (Swedish: Regeringen Löfven II) is the present Government of Sweden. It is a coalition, consisting of two parties: the Social Democrats and the Green Party. The cabinet was installed on 21 January 2019, following the 2018 general election.
|Stefan Löfven's second cabinet|
|54th cabinet of Sweden|
The Löfven II cabinet outside the Stockholm Royal Palace, January 2019
|Date formed||21 January 2019|
|People and organisations|
|Head of state||Carl XVI Gustaf|
|Head of government||Stefan Löfven|
|Deputy head of government||Isabella Lövin|
|No. of ministers||23|
|Member party||Social Democrats|
|Status in legislature||Centre-left coalition minority government|
with confidence & supply from the Centre Party, the Liberals and the Left Party (supplementary agreement)
|Opposition party||Moderate Party|
|Predecessor||Löfven I Cabinet|
With only 116 out of 349 seats (33%) in the Riksdag (Swedish parliament), the “red-green” coalition began as one of the weakest minority governments in Swedish history, and it relies on support from other parties in the Riksdag.
The cabinet was installed following a formal government meeting with King Carl XVI Gustaf on 21 January 2019. Stefan Löfven had previously announced his cabinet ministers at a parliament session on the same day.
Stefan Löfven's second cabinet is one of the weakest governments in Swedish history. As such, it currently depends on support from other parties in the Riksdag. The red-green government's retention of power is the result of a joint agreement between the Social Democrats, the Green Party, the Centre Party and the Liberals. The 16-page document, which was signed in January, dictates what government policy will look like for the foreseeable future.
- The Centre Party and Liberals agree to abstain from voting against Stefan Löfven's re-election.
- The Left Party shall not receive any influence over Swedish politics for the following years.
- Passing a test in Swedish and in the basics of civics shall be mandatory in order to acquire Swedish citizenship.
- The värnskatt tax is to be abolished by 2020. This tax, which was adopted in 1995 by the Social Democrats, is a surtax of five additional percentage points on anyone's annual income that exceeds 703,000 crowns.
- The Employment Protection Act (LAS) is to be amended by no later than 2021. The amendments are to include additional exceptions to the rules of seniority regarding redundancy terminations of employees. A government inquiry was started in April 2019.
- The government is to refrain from proposing legislation which limits or prevents the private sector from generating profits from their work in the welfare system.
- Taxes on environmentally unfriendly goods and services are to be increased while taxes on salaries are to be lowered. This is known as grön skatteväxling (lit. "green tax shifting") in Swedish politics and these will amount to 15 billion crowns (circa €1,38 billion).
- The increased tax on retirees is to be abolished by 2020 and general pensions are to be increased by 2021.
- A "family week" is to be introduced. Working parents who have children between the ages of four and sixteen receive three days off each within the framework of parental insurance. These days are intended to be used when children cannot attend school due to school breaks, etc. Single parents receive six days.
- The tax reduction on household services is to include an additional range of services.
- Employers' state fees are to be decreased.
- Public Employment Service will undergo a fundamental reform.
Additionally, the agreement includes investments and policy changes across many areas:
- Investments are to be made into the countryside, such as increased possibilities for distance education. The government is also to ensure that no more government services locate their headquarters in the capital, Stockholm, during the mandate period.
- The national digital infrastructure is to be drastically improved, a goal has been set to guarantee that 95% of all households and businesses has access to a broadband speed of at least 100 Mbit/s by 2020.
- Railway and roads investments across the country will amount to 700 billion crowns between 2018 and 2029.
- The Swedish Transport Administration is to be tasked with maintaining daily over-night trains to several European cities.
- A proposition regarding fossil fuel-free transports aims to prohibit the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-driven cars. An inquiry into such a prohibition is to be made during 2019 and a prohibition would require approval by the European Commission.
- The abolished aviation tax is to be reintroduced.
- The punishment for honor-related violent crimes is to be strengthened.
- Municipalities shall reserve the right to limit state aid to those asylum seekers who manage to find their own housing in areas with socio-economic difficulties.
- The ability to set rents on newly built residential developments is to be left to the property manager.
- Four separate taxes which are collectively known as the flyttskatt ("move tax") are to be abolished
- Academic grading is to be allowed as of year 4 (age 10) of elementary school, instead of year 6, but it is to be voluntary for schools to grade students until year 6.
- No more privately owned schools with a religious orientation are to be opened.
- The possibilities for a state-run education system are to be explored.
- The right to receive and subsidy for assistance for care revolving around breathing and tube feeding, which was abolished in the Moderate and Christian Democrat budget, is to be restored.
- 10,000 more police employees by 2024.
- A principle to prohibit weapon export deals with non-democratic countries which are known to participate militarily in the Yemeni conflict until the conflict ends.
The government proposed to reduce employers’ social security contributions to increase young people's employment in 2019. The Swedish fossil-free initiatives proposals amounted to 1,950 million kronor, including investments in biogas and home charging of 750 million kronor, wetland protection at 200 million, and solar cell subsidies of 300 million. Aviation tax of 785 million kronor a year is to be collected.
In 2018, the government fired Director-General Ann-Marie Begler of the Social Insurance Agency. The Minister for Social Security, Annika Strandhäll, stated that the government had been dissatisfied with Begler's performance for a long time and that she had voluntarily resigned, something that Begler denied. Additionally, e-mails were sent to the Riksdag Constitution Committee by senior managers at the Social Insurance Agency. The senior managers accused Minister Strandhäll of lying and demanded that Begler be reinstated.
Criticism from major political parties started with the Moderates, with Ulf Kristersson accusing the government for firing the Director-General for the purposes of electioneering. The liberal-conservative party spearheaded an effort to sack the Minister for Social Security through a motion of no-confidence, an effort which had the support of the Moderates, the Christian Democrats and the Sweden Democrats. On the evening of May 27, the Centre Party announced that it would not be supporting the vote of no-confidence against Strandhäll. The vote was held on May 28 and failed, with 172 MPs supporting the vote, 113 voting against and 59 abstaining. Support is required from at least 175 MPs. Minister Strandhäll is still being investigated by the Riksdag Constitution Committee.
- "Sweden's new Government". Government of Sweden. 2019-01-21.
- Wedin, Helena (11 January 2019). "Uppgörelsen mellan S, MP, L och C – punkt för punkt". SVT Nyheter. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
- "Utkast till sakpolitisk överenskommelse mellan Socialdemokraterna, Centerpartiet, Liberalerna och Miljöpartiet de gröna" (PDF) (in Swedish). Social Democrats. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
- "Värnskatten tas bort nästa år - det här betyder det" (in Swedish). Expressen. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Utredning tillsätts för att utreda arbetsrätten". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Fortsatt grön skatteväxling" (in Swedish). Environmental Protection Agency. ISBN 91-620-5390-6. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
- "Proposals for reforms and financing in the Spring Amending Budget for 2019" (PDF). Government of Sweden. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
- Thomse, Dante (17 May 2019). "Här är bakgrunden till KU-anmälan mot socialförsäkringsminister Annika Strandhäll (S)". SVT Nyheter.
- "Centern fäller inte Annika Strandhäll". DN.SE (in Swedish). 2019-05-27. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- "Klarade misstroende men kan få kritik av KU". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-05-29.
| Cabinet of Sweden