The head of the Ministry of Defense of the kingdom believes that “in these turbulent times” it is necessary to increase spending on the defense of the country. How exactly the new tax will work, he did not specify. The opposition criticized this idea
The head of the Swedish Ministry of Defense Peter Hultkvist proposed a tax for the wealthiest citizens to finance the strengthening of defense, reports Aftonbladet.
“We allow some form of tax on unforeseen expenses” ;,— he explained. How exactly it is possible to develop such a tax and its parameters, the minister did not specify, but noted that “in these turbulent times” “many, many billions” must be directed to the expansion of the country's defense capability.
“I think the wealthiest have the opportunity to contribute more,” — says Hultkvist.
The idea of the minister was criticized by the representative of the largest opposition party, the Moderates; Elisabeth Svantesson, calling the citizens of Sweden “one of the most taxed people in the world.” “I'm worried that the government can't finance the most important tasks without further tax increases,” she said.
Aftonbladet notes that the Swedish authorities are generally in favor of allocating an amount equivalent to 2% of GDP for strengthening defense, but they disagree on when this can happen. According to the opposition— “Moderates”, Christian Democratic Party, “Swedish Democrats” and the Liberals, this will be achieved by 2025, and the governments— by 2028. The defense budget is expected to reach 143 billion Swedish kronor ($13.8 billion) by that time.
In September 2019, the Swedish Ministry of Finance proposed a tax on banks in order to increase the defense budget against the backdrop of Russia's buildup of its military presence in the Baltic Sea. The ministry expressed confidence that in 2022 it will be possible to replenish the state treasury by 5 billion kroons ($508 million).
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This January, Hultqvist announced that Russia's policy poses a threat to the security system of Europe, and its demand not to accept Ukraine into NATO calls into question the right of other countries to self-determination. Against the background of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Sweden and Finland decided to join the North Atlantic Alliance. In mid-May, they applied, and at the end of June they received an official invitation. Now their entry into the ranks of NATO must be approved by the parliaments of all 30 countries of the alliance. Turkey admits that it can freeze this process.
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