Government accused of rushing controversial proposals

The government is giving agencies affected by new proposals little time to offer their opinion on planned reforms.

An investigation by the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet shows that the government rarely allows agencies the full 90 days to comment.

Out of twenty-eight proposals from the Ministry of Finance, only five were followed by comment periods lasting the full 90 days.

Complicated and controversial proposals such as changes to real estate taxes, tax treatment for household service workers, and gender equality bonuses all had comment periods shorter than 90 days.

“In some cases there is more of a hurry and more eagerness to get a proposal through,” said Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

But according to Morgan Johnasson, a Social Democrat in the Riksdag’s constitutional committee, the government’s efforts are “careless” and of low quality.

And Sweden’s National Tax Board (Skatteverket) clearly felt that it was “unacceptable” that state agencies had only ten days to give comments on a new proposal.

According to the constitution, the government must gather opinions from agencies and groups affected by new proposals. Following the comment period, proposals can then be sent to the Riksdag.