|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Alliance (Swedish: Alliansen), formerly Alliance for Sweden (Swedish: Allians för Sverige), is a political alliance in Sweden. It consists of the four centre-right parties in the Riksdag. Although it was formed while in opposition, it achieved a majority government in the 2006 general election and a minority government in the 2010 general election forming the current government of Sweden.
The Alliance is co-chaired by every party's leader.
Members of the Alliance
- The Moderate Party led by Fredrik Reinfeldt since 2003, a liberal conservative party currently with 107 of 349 seats (30.06%) in the Riksdag.
- The Liberal People's Party led by Jan Björklund since 2007 (Lars Leijonborg during the first campaign and the 2006 general election), a liberal party currently with 24 of 349 seats (7.06%) in the Riksdag.
- The Centre Party led by Annie Lööf since 2011 (Maud Olofsson during the during the campaigns, the 2006 general election and the 2010 general election, a liberal=, former farmers' party currently with 23 of 349 seats (6.56%) in the Riksdag.
- The Christian Democrats led by Göran Hägglund since 2004, a Christian democratic party currently with 19 of 349 seats (5.6%) in the Riksdag.
History of the Alliance
Swedish politics had been dominated by the Social Democratic Party for over 70 years. They had been in government for all but nine years (summer of 1936, 1976–1982, 1991–1994) since 1932. The opposition parties decided that this was partly because they did not present a clear and viable alternative government. At a meeting held in the Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson's home in the village of Högfors, the four party leaders decided to form an alliance. The meeting ended on 31 August 2004 with the presentation of a joint declaration outlining the principles under which the four parties intended to fight the election. A year later a similar meeting was held at Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund's home in Bankeryd, resulting in the affirmation of the alliance and another declaration.
Aims and policies of the Alliance
Alliance for Sweden aimed to win a majority of seats in the 2006 Riksdag elections and form a coalition government. In order to do this, the member parties decided to issue common policy statements and to have a joint election manifesto. Each individual party still had its own manifesto and policies, but these will build up from common proposals in the Alliance's joint proposals. The Alliance has policy working groups for six areas: economic policy, education policy, foreign policy, the welfare state, employment and business policy, and policing.
An example of this policy cooperation was the budget proposal that the Alliance parties put forward on 2 October 2005. The core proposal was a tax cut of 49 billion Swedish kronor, which is 1.9% of GDP and 3.3% of the total income of the public sector in 2005. Each individual party also proposed its own policies in addition. For example, the Liberal People's Party want to spend 1bn kronor extra on tertiary education and the Christian Democrats want to have more benefits and tax deductions for families.
On 14 June 2006 Alliance for Sweden agreed on a common energy policy. It will apply over the next parliamentary term (2006–2010), and includes a promise not to shut down any more nuclear reactors during that period (Barsebäck 2 was shut down in 2005). The proposal is that no more reactors are to be built, that the nuclear phase-out law will be repealed and that all forms of energy research will be legal and able to receive state grants (research on nuclear power is currently forbidden in Sweden). An Alliance government would also grant any applications to increase the output of the existing plants, provided that it would be safe to do so. This has been hailed as a historic step, as disagreement over nuclear power has long plagued the centre-right in Sweden: the Centre Party opposes nuclear power, the Moderates and Christian Democrats support its continuing operation while the Liberal People's Party want to build more reactors. Some doubts have been raised about the long-term survival of this compromise, as neither the Centre Party nor the Liberal People's Party have changed their fundamental positions on nuclear power.
On 5 July 2006, during the politics week at Almedalen on Gotland, the Alliance parties announced a plan to abolish property tax. Their agreement promises to freeze taxable values at the current level (so that the revaluation that is being carried out will not apply), and to reduce the rate of tax on apartments from 0.5% to 0.4% of their taxable value. A ceiling of 5000 kronor will also be imposed on the taxation of the value of a house's plot. The parties are also agreed on the abolition of the tax and its replacement with a municipal charge independent of the value of the property; this reform is planned to be carried out in 2008. Property tax is estimated to bring in 28.1 billion kronor in 2006, rising to 30.2bn in 2007 and 32.2bn in 2008 (as taxable values rise). The first stage of the Alliance's plan (freezing property values, capping the tax on land value and reducing the rate for apartments) is estimated to cost around 4-5 billion kronor. The financing of this is to be revealed in the Alliance's manifesto in August 2006.
The result of the election was clear enough on election night for Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt to declare himself the victor and for Göran Persson to announce his resignation as Prime Minister and as leader of the Social Democratic Party. The four centre-right parties of Alliance for Sweden formed a government with Fredrik Reinfeldt as Prime Minister, which was presented to the Riksdag on 6 October.
The Alliance in government
Minister for Finance Anders Borg presented the government's first budget on 16 October 2006. The budget contains many of the proposals that were prominent in the Alliance's election campaign: both the job deduction in the income tax, which will also be larger for old people to encourage them to remain in the labour market, and the "fresh start jobs" with reduced payroll tax for companies employing people who have been unemployed for more than a year will come into effect from 1 January 2007. Tax reductions for companies hiring young people and for domestic services are to come into effect on 1 July. The tax reductions announced in the budget total 42 billion Swedish kronor, of which the income tax deduction is 38.7 billion. Other changes include the ending of employers' co-financing of sickness benefit after the second week and reduction of unemployment benefit. Unemployment benefit will remain 80% of previous pay for 200 days then drop to 70%. Benefit will be payable for a maximum of 300 days, or 450 if the recipient has children.
- "Allians för Sverige" (in Swedish). Allians för Sverige. 31 August 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Program för arbete" (in Swedish). Allians för Sverige. 31 August 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "En tunn agenda för reformer". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 4 October 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Ewing, Adam (14 June 2006). "Alliance agrees to keep nuclear". The Local. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Ewing, Adam (4 July 2006). "Alliance to abolish property tax". The Local. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Fler i arbete – mer att dela på" (in Swedish). Allians för Sverige. 23 August 2006. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Autumn Budget Bill: Putting Sweden to work - a good deal for all". Ministry of Finance. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- O'Mahony, Paul (16 October 2006). "Swedish tax slashed by 42 billion kronor". The Local. Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Allians för Sverige.|
- Official website (Swedish)
- Official website of the government of Sweden (English)
- Fler i arbete - mer att dela på - the Alliance's joint manifesto (Swedish)
- Putting Sweden to work - a good deal for all - the budget for 2007 (English)