Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sweden's down-turn

Sweden, the social-democrat welfare-dream-state, has seen the steepest increase in inequality over 15 years amongst the 34 OECD nations, with disparities rising at four times the pace of the United States. Eurostat said recently that after Bulgaria, Sweden had the second biggest rise in the percentage of its population deemed at-risk-of poverty.

Spending on welfare benefits such as pensions, unemployment and incapacity assistance has fallen by almost a third to 13 per cent of GDP from the early 90s, putting Sweden only just above the 11 per cent OECD average.

At the other end of the spectrum, tax changes and housing market reforms have made the rich richer.

Since the mid-80s, income from savings, private pensions or rentals, jumped 10 per cent for the richest fifth of the population while falling one percent for the poorest 20 per cent.


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