Saturday, July 04, 2015

The Left Party: Sweden's Political Power Forum - Day Seven

Via The Local:

It's the seventh day of Almedalen, the most important week in Swedish politics, and the Left Party is running the show.

The Local is live blogging the key moments.

Saturday July 4th

1.20pm Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt wants free holidays for poor children.

Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt wants to spend 250 million kronor a year on summer camps for the children of poor families.

The money should be spent on children between the ages of 6 and 15 to enjoy activities such as holiday camps, football schools and activities at sea.

“Children who may otherwise be home alone while parents work will have something to talk about when they go back to school”.

The money should go to the municipalities with the poorest families. The requirement should be that the activities are free of charge and be aimed at both boys and girls.

“We want to bring to generate the money by reintroducing the wealth tax, which would give about four billion kronor to the Treasury. The tax for the richest was abolished in 2007. I think it's a nice thought that Sweden's richest give Sweden's poorest kids a nice summer vacation”, he says.

10.15am Ulla Andersson speaks.

Ulla Andersson, the Left Party’s economic policy spokeswoman, has said that she is not satisfied with the Government's efforts to achieve the lowest unemployment in the EU in 2020.

“We need policies that push down unemployment while providing extra welfare. You have to set a goal - you have to dare to invest”, she said.

“We have a train system that does not work; we need to invest more in public transport and we need more employees in welfare”.

Andersson said she would increase tax on those who earn more than 30.000 kronor a month.

“Should we favor those with much money or ensure that our children receive a good upbringing?”

7.15am Left-wing ideals.

As its name suggests, the Left Party is the most left-wing group in the Swedish parliament.

It has a long history and described itself as communist until the 1990s.

The Left Party has never served in government but usually offers informal support to Social Democrat governments whenever they are in power.

The party is against the privatization of public companies and supports higher taxes to fund Sweden's welfare state.

Born in Gothenburg, its leader Jonas Sjöstedt is a former metal worker who has also worked in Strasbourg and Brussels as a member of the European Parliament and in New York where he wrote for left-wing magazines and newspapers.

He has been a member of the Swedish parliament since 2010.

7.00am The day begins.

Good morning and welcome to our live blog of the seventh day of Almedalen Week.

Sweden's Left Party is in the spotlight on Saturday, with leader Jonas Sjöstedt set to take the stage for his speech at 7pm tonight.

Yesterday he accused Sweden's Social Democrats and Greens of abandoning their left-wing ideals in favor of the center ground, and he is likely to continue in the same spirit today.

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