Tax cuts, boost for defence spending in Swedish budget

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STOCKHOLM – Sweden’s government on Tuesday promised tax cuts and more money for welfare, defence and the criminal justice system in its 2024 budget, but said spending had to be limited by the need to keep a lid on inflation.

The full budget will be published on Wednesday, but Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson said the government would increase in-work tax credits and cut fuel duties to help those hardest hit by rising prices and interest rates.

“Inflation is at the root of many of the acute problems in the Swedish economy just now,” Svantesson said in a summary of the budget in daily Dagens Nyheter. “Now we need to show our stamina, that’s why we will present a restrained budget on Wednesday.”

Defence spending will rise next year as Sweden moves to meet NATO’s target of 2% of GDP. The government has previously said the total increase will be 27 billion Swedish crowns ($2.42 billion) in 2024.

Local authorities will get more funding so they can maintain welfare services, pensioners will see lower taxes, while the police and criminal justice system get an additional boost.

Most of the measures, expected to increase overall spending by around 40 billion crowns next year, have already been announced.

The full budget is published at 0600 GMT on Wednesday. REUTERS

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