Sweden debates housekeeping tax

cleaning-littleA campaign has been launched by the Swedish Moderate Party to highlight housekeeping as a vital issue in forthcoming elections and also to exploit potential divisions among opposition parties, notably the Left-Green alliance.

“This has become an incredibly clear symbol for what the opposition is offering in terms of jobs and employment policy, and also for the whole service sector,” according to Per Schlingmann, the Moderate Party secretary.

The centre-right Moderates and their coalition partners argue that household services tax relief create thousands of employment opportunities. The leftist opposition claims that such a move only benefits the wealthy who can afford such luxury in the first place.

After promising to do away with the policy, the opposition has in recent times appeared to backtrack on its decision to block the RUT-deduction, under which costs for services such as babysitting and cleaning can be halved. The Social Democrats, the largest opposition party, has claimed it could maintain a modified version of the policy.

“It is bad use of tax money,” said Lars Ohly, the Left Party leader, in a report by The Local. “And it won’t become any better if you find some kind of new arrangement, or try to change it or extend it in some way.”

The service sector industry organisation Almega reports that over 11,000 jobs in housekeeping services exist in Sweden at present.

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