Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Swedish model en deshabille

I bet that, for most of my readers, the phrase ‘Swedish model’ instantly conjures up a mental picture of social democracy gone to heaven, rather than the young Anita Pallenberg en deshabille. Because we at Dave’s Part are serious about politics, right?

But sadly Sweden has had a centre-right government for, oooh, eleven days now. And so far, it has been – to coin a phrase – ‘an absolute fucking disaster’.

Two ministers have been forced to quit. Culture minister Cecilia Stegoe Chilo – crazy name, crazy gal, pictured left, and responsible for collecting the licence fees that fund public TV channels – has resigned following revelations that she hasn’t bought a TV licence for the last 16 years, and hired a domestic servant without paying the necessary taxes. Trade minister Maria Borelius resigned after similar accusations of tax dodging.

But enough schadenfreude. What about the class politics? Well, it is certainly difficult to mistake what side of the barricades the new Swedish administration is on.

Its current proposals include phasing out wealth tax over four years, starting by halving it to 0.75% of assets from 2007. But tax deductions for trade union dues and contributions to unemployment insurance are to be scrapped.

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