Löfven II cabinet

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Löfven II Cabinet
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Stefan Löfven's second cabinet
54th
Stockholm Royal Palace, January 2019
Date formed21 January 2019
Date dissolved9 July 2021
People and organisations
Head of stateCarl XVI Gustaf
Head of governmentStefan Löfven
Deputy head of governmentPer Bolund (de jure)
Morgan Johansson (de facto)[1]
No. of ministers22
Member partySocial Democrats
Green Party
Status in legislatureCentre-left coalition minority government
with confidence & supply from the Centre Party and Liberals[a]
Opposition partyModerate Party
Sweden Democrats
Left Party
Christian Democrats
History
Election(s)2018 election
PredecessorLöfven I cabinet
SuccessorLöfven III cabinet

The second cabinet of Stefan Löfven (

following the 2018 general election
.

In a vote of no-confidence held on 21 June 2021, the prime minister was voted out of office. The cabinet remained a caretaker government until a new cabinet was appointed.

With only 116 out of 349 seats (33%) in the

Swedish history
, and it relied on support from other parties in the Riksdag.

The

King Carl XVI Gustaf on 21 January 2019. Stefan Löfven had previously announced his cabinet ministers
at a parliament session.

Policy

January Agreement

The cabinet was one of the weakest governments in Swedish history. Thus, it relied on support from other parties in the Riksdag. Holding only 33% of seats in parliament, this red-green government's retention of power was the result of a joint agreement between the Social Democrats, the Green Party, the Centre Party and the Liberals. The 16-page document, signed in January, which is commonly referred to as Januariavtalet (lit. the January Agreement) dictated government policy during this time.

The agreement included the following main points:[2][3]

  • The Centre Party and Liberals agreed to abstain from voting against Stefan Löfven's re-election.
  • The Left Party were to not receive any influence over Swedish politics for the following years.
  • Passing a test in Swedish and in the basics of civics were to be made mandatory to acquire Swedish citizenship.
  • The abolition of the värnskatt tax by 2020. This tax, which was adopted in 1995 by the Social Democrats, was a surtax of five additional percentage points on anyone's annual income that exceeds 703,000 crowns.[4]
  • The reform of the Employment Protection Act (LAS) by 2021. The amendments included additional exceptions to the rules of seniority regarding redundancy terminations of employees.[5]
  • The government was to refrain from proposing legislation which would limit or prevent the private sector from generating profits from their work in the welfare system.
  • Taxes on environmentally unfriendly goods and services were to be increased while taxes on salaries were to be lowered. This is known as grön skatteväxling (lit. "green tax shifting") in Swedish politics[6] and amounted to 15 billion crowns (circa €1.38 billion).
  • The lowering of taxes for retirees by 2020 and an increase in general pensions by 2021.
  • The introduction of the "family week". Working parents who have children between the ages of four and sixteen receive three days off each within the framework of parental insurance. These days are intended to be used when children cannot attend school due to school breaks, etc. Single parents receive six days.
  • The expansion of the tax reduction on household services (the RUT-avdrag) to include an additional range of services.
  • Lowered employers' state fees.
  • A reformed Public Employment Service, having it compete with private employment services.

Additionally, the agreement included investments and policy changes across many areas:

Infrastructure

  • Investments into the countryside, such as increased possibilities for distance education. The government was to ensure that no more government services locate their headquarters in the capital, Stockholm, during the government term.
  • Improvements to digital infrastructure, with the goal being to guarantee that 95% of all households and businesses has access to a broadband speed of at least 100 
    Mbit/s
    by 2020.
  • Investments in the railway and road infrastructure across the country amounting to 700 billion crowns (~€65.2 billion) between 2018 and 2029.
  • Tasking the Swedish Transport Administration with maintaining daily over-night trains to several European cities.

Environment

  • The prohibition of the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-driven cars.
  • The reintroduction of the aviation tax.

Social integration

  • Making the punishment for honor-related violent crimes more severe.
  • Allowing municipalities to limit state aid to those asylum seekers who manage to find their own housing in
    areas with socio-economic difficulties
    .

Housing

  • The liberalization of rent controls on newly-constructed housing developments.
  • The abolition of four separate taxes which are collectively known as the flyttskatt ("move tax").

Education

  • Permitting academic grading from year 4 (age 10) of elementary school, instead of year 6, but making it voluntary for schools to grade students up until year 6.
  • Prohibiting further religiously-oriented privately owned schools from opening.
  • Exploring the possibilities for a state-run education system.

Personal assistance

  • The restoration of the right to receive a subsidy for assistance for care revolving around breathing and
    tube feeding, which was abolished in the Moderate and Christian Democrat budget.[b]

Security

  • 10,000 more police employees by 2024.
  • The prohibition of weapon export deals with non-democratic countries which are known to participate militarily in the
    Yemeni conflict
    until the conflict ends.

The government proposed to reduce employers’ social security contributions to increase young people's employment in 2019. The Swedish fossil-free initiatives proposals amounted to 1,950 million crowns, including investments in biogas and home charging of 750 million kronor, wetland protection at 200 million, and solar cell subsidies of 300 million. Aviation tax of 785 million crowns a year is to be collected.[7]

2020 state budget

Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson delivered the 2020 budget proposal to the Riksdag on 18 September 2019. The reforms of the budget were in accordance with the January agreement and were estimated to cost the state 30 billion crowns.

Arguably the most significant reform in the budget proposal was the abolished värnskatt tax. The värnskatt was a

Carlsson Cabinet
. It taxed five additional percentage points on anyone's annual income that exceeds 703,000 crowns. The reform had been pushed by the Liberals for a long time.

The largest reform in terms of increasing revenue in the budget was the three-crown tax on plastic bags which was expected to generate 2 billion crowns in tax revenue.

Other tax-political reforms included the lowering of taxes for the elderly with a pension of at least 17,000 crowns per month, as well as a tax break for people living in certain rural municipalities. The eligible municipalities cover most of Norrland and Dalarna and parts of Värmland and Dalsland.

The regions and municipalities of Sweden received a general contribution of five billion crowns. The municipalities received 3.5 billion crowns and the regions received 1.5 billion. The funds were to be distributed equally in proportion to each subdivision's population. An additional 410 million crowns were allocated towards combatting and preventing segregation on the local and regional levels, with a reserve fund of 85 million made available for the same purpose.

According to Dagens Nyheter, 110 of Sweden's municipalities would be operating at a deficit during the second half of 2019.[8]

The government claimed that the reforms would increase the gap between the poor and the rich, as well as between men and women.

[9][10]

Measures against gang crime

In September 2019, talks were held between the government parties and the centre-right Moderates, Christian Democrats, Centre Party and Liberals regarding an agreement concerning measures for combating gang violence and organized crime.[11] Negotiations broke down on 21 September 2019, with three of the centre-right parties (M, L and KD) leaving the talks. The Moderate spokesman for justice affairs stated that "We can agree to a lot of the crime prevention work [proposals]. Regarding the strengthening of justice policy, I can affirm that we are still very far from each other". The Moderates demanded additional police officers, the doubling of prison time for gang-related offences, the ability to turn state's evidence and the abolition of mandatory lenient sentencing for young offenders. The Christian Democrats, Centre Party and Liberals pushed for the ability of witnesses to testify on the condition of anonymity.[12]

On the same day, following the breakdown of the negotiations, the government announced their own package of measures to combat gang crime. The package consisted of 34 proposals which included giving the police the ability to read and listen to encrypted communications, transferring certain police responsibilities to community service officers and increasing the mandatory minimum sentences for several crimes such as weapons and explosives offences, recruiting youth for criminal activities and for conveying narcotics to others.[13] Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson announced on 22 September that they would support the government package, provided that the proposals lead to concrete reforms. The Christian Democrats stated that they would support certain parts of the package.[14]

Following the shooting of a 15-year-old boy in Malmö on the night of 9 November,[15] the opposition parties called for a vote of no-confidence against Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson, deeming him at least partly responsible for the recent wave of violent crime.[16] Two days later, on 11 November, the police launched Operation Rimfrost with the mission of curbing gang violence, with police officials claiming that a "difference would be noticed" within roughly six months.[17] The vote of no-confidence against the Minister of Justice was held on 13 November and failed, accruing only 131 of the 175 'yes' votes required.[18]

Response to Covid-19 outbreak

On 24 February, the government announced that they would be spending 40 million SEK (roughly €4 million) towards the World Health Organization's efforts in containing the

gymnasium and universities) were advised to close and to teach classes remotely.[22] In conjunction with the European Union announcing a 30-day travel ban for people entering the Union, the government instituted a ban on non-essential travel from non-EU nations to Sweden in the evening of 17 March.[22]

Employment Protection Act (LAS) talks

Negotiations between the Swedish Trade Union Confederation and the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise regarding the reform of the Employment Protection Act (Lagen om anställningsskydd, LAS) failed on 1 October 2020. As the reform of LAS was stipulated to occur by no later than 2022[23], unless negotiations were resumed, the government was expected to step in and execute the reforms put forward in their 2019 inquiry.[24] The Left Party was firmly against the suggested reforms and vowed to launch a vote of no-confidence against the government if they were to go through with the reforms.[25] The right-wing opposition parties, wishing to oust the government, indicated that they would support the Left during such a vote, which would be enough for a majority.[26] Trade union and enterprise leaders resumed talks on 14 October[27] and presented a batch of proposed reforms to the government in December 2020.[28]

Controversies

Annika Strandhäll

Begler Affair

In 2018, the

government fired Director-General Ann-Marie Begler of the Social Insurance Agency. The Minister for Social Security, Annika Strandhäll
, stated that the government had been dissatisfied with Begler's performance for a long time and that she had voluntarily resigned, something that Begler denied. Additionally, e-mails were sent to the Riksdag Constitution Committee by senior managers at the Social Insurance Agency. The senior managers accused Minister Strandhäll of lying and demanded that Begler be reinstated.

Criticism from major political parties started with the

electioneering. The liberal-conservative party spearheaded an effort to sack the Minister for Social Security through a motion of no-confidence, an effort which had the support of the Moderates, the Christian Democrats and the Sweden Democrats.[29] On the evening of 27 May, the Centre Party announced that it would not be supporting the vote of no-confidence against Strandhäll.[30] The vote was held on 28 May and failed, with 172 MPs supporting the motion, 113 voting against and 59 abstaining. Support is required from at least 175 MPs. Strandhäll received a formal warning from the Riksdag Constitution Committee in June 2019.[31]

Stefan Löfven

Reform of the Public Employment Service

In accordance with the January Agreement, the government initiated a reform of the

2019 state budget, resulted in a major budget cut for the agency. In early 2019, the Service announced that they would be closing 132 offices around the country, sacking 4,500 employees. The cuts drew severe criticism from opposition parties, with the Left Party threatening a vote of no-confidence against Minister for Employment Eva Nordmark on 21 November, a move which by December was backed by the three conservative opposition parties. As a result, the government was forced to put the reform on hold for a year. In a memo, the government authorized the Public Employment Service to ensure adequate service in areas where the closures of local offices had been ordered.[32][33][34]

As of February 2020, service had been restored in 99 of the 132 areas where the agency had previously decided to close their offices.[35]

Market rent reform and government crisis

As part of the January Agreement, the government had announced an inquiry into reforming the housing market by allowing for unregulated rents on newly-built residential housing developments.[3] The inquiry was completed on 4 June 2021[36] and the proposal would give property owners the ability to freely set rents on newly-constructed housing, upon agreement with their tenants. Rents would primarily be allowed to increase in line only with the consumer price index, or due to a "change in circumstances". If the landlord and tenant cannot come to an agreement, the rent amount can be tried with the rent tribunal.[37]

In response, the

third government was formed on 9 June.[42]

Ministers

Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party
Prime Minister's Office
Prime Minister21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Deputy Prime Minister
not a separate minister post
21 January 201910 September 2019 Social Democrats
Morgan Johansson (de facto)
10 September 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Isabella Lövin (de jure)
21 January 20195 February 2021 Green
Per Bolund (de jure)
5 February 20219 July 2021 Green
Minister for EU Affairs21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Ministry of Justice
Minister for Justice
Minister for Migration
21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Minister of the Interior21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Minister for Foreign Affairs21 January 201910 September 2019 Social Democrats
10 September 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Minister of Foreign Trade
Minister for Nordic Cooperation
21 January 201910 September 2019 Social Democrats
10 September 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Minister for International Development Cooperation21 January 201917 December 2020 Green
17 December 20205 February 2021 Green
5 February 20219 July 2021 Green
Ministry of Defence
Minister for Defence21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
Minister for Health and Social Affairs21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Minister for Social Security21 January 20191 October 2019 Social Democrats
1 October 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Ministry of Finance
Magdalena Andersson
21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Minister for Financial Markets
Minister for Housing
Deputy Minister for Finance
21 January 20195 February 2021 Green
Minister for Financial Markets
Deputy Minister for Finance
5 February 20219 July 2021 Green
Minister for Public Administration
Minister for Consumer Affairs
21 January 20191 October 2019 Social Democrats
1 October 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Ministry of Education and Research
Minister for Education21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Minister for Higher Education and Research
21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Ministry of the Environment
Minister for the Climate
21 January 20195 February 2021 Green
5 February 20219 July 2021 Green
Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation
Minister for Enterprise
21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Minister for Rural Affairs21 January 201930 June 2021 Social Democrats
Ministry of Culture
Minister for Culture
Minister for Democracy
Minister for Sports
21 January 20199 July 2021 Green
Ministry of Employment
Minister for Employment21 January 201910 September 2019 Social Democrats
10 September 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Minister for Gender Equality
Minister with responsibility for anti-discrimination and anti-segregation
21 January 20195 February 2021 Green
Minister for Gender Equality
Minister for Housing
Minister with responsibility for anti-discrimination and anti-segregation
5 February 20219 July 2021 Green
Ministry of Infrastructure
Minister for Infrastructure21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats
Minister for Energy
Minister for Digital Development
21 January 20199 July 2021 Social Democrats


References

External links

  • List of current government ministers – "Sweden's newest government" (2019)
  • Nordenskiöld, Tomas (18 March 2020). "Johansson tar över – om Löfven blir sjuk i corona" [Johansson takes over – if Löfven gets sick with corona]. Expressen. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  • "MP-källor: Nya ministern kan bli framtida språkrör". Dagens Nyheter. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  • Bustamante, Simón (5 February 2021). "Nya ministrar tar plats i regeringen". Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 5 February 2021.

Footnotes

  1. Instrument of Government. Thus, the de facto deputy prime minister
    defaults to the longest-serving member of the cabinet, Morgan Johansson. Bolund's title vice statsminister is ceremonial.
  2. ^ Wedin, Helena (11 January 2019). "Uppgörelsen mellan S, MP, L och C – punkt för punkt". SVT Nyheter. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Utkast till sakpolitisk överenskommelse mellan Socialdemokraterna, Centerpartiet, Liberalerna och Miljöpartiet de gröna" (PDF) (in Swedish). Social Democrats. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 September 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  4. ^ "Värnskatten tas bort nästa år – det här betyder det" (in Swedish). Expressen. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Utredning tillsätts för att utreda arbetsrätten". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). 25 April 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  6. . Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Proposals for reforms and financing in the Spring Amending Budget for 2019" (PDF). Government of Sweden. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Larmet: 110 kommuner väntas gå minus i år". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 30 June 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Tre saker du behöver veta om höstbudgeten". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 18 September 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Regeringens proposition 2019/20:1 | Budgetproposition för 2020" (PDF). Government of Sweden. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Damberg öppnar för anonyma vittnen: "Inga förslag är omöjliga"". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 11 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  12. ^ "M, KD och L lämnar krimsamtalen". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 21 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Efter avbrutna samtalen – regeringen lägger fram åtgärdspaket". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 21 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  14. ^ "M kommer rösta för regeringens förslag mot gängvåldet". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 22 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  15. ^ TT (10 November 2019). "Tonårspojke ihjälskjuten i Malmö". gp.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  16. ^ "SD och M ska väcka misstroende mot Morgan Johansson (S)". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Noa: Resultatet bör märkas om ett halvår". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  18. ^ Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Ingen misstroendeförklaring mot justitie- och migrationsminister Morgan Johansson (S)". www.riksdagen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Regeringen avsätter 40 miljoner till WHO:s krisorganisation". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 24 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Regeringen stoppar sammankomster med fler än 500". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 11 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Stort krispaket till svenska företag". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 16 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Det nya coronaviruset: Följ utvecklingen live". DN.SE (in Swedish). 29 February 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  23. ^ The government inquiry extends the time limit stipulated in the January Agreement from 2021 to 2022
  24. ^ Nilsson, Mimmi (30 September 2020). "Las-förhandlingar går in i de sista timmarna – parterna i samtal i kväll". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  25. ^ Horvatovic, Iva (1 October 2020). "Vad händer nu med las?". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  26. ^ "KD och M redo att fälla Stefan Löfven". DN.SE (in Swedish). 9 October 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  27. ^ Sennerö, Johan (14 October 2020). "Arbetsmarknadens parter redo att återuppta las-förhandlingar". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  28. ^ ""Största reformen av arbetsmarknaden i modern tid"". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 7 June 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  29. ^ Thomse, Dante (17 May 2019). "Här är bakgrunden till KU-anmälan mot socialförsäkringsminister Annika Strandhäll (S)". SVT Nyheter.
  30. ^ "Centern fäller inte Annika Strandhäll". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 27 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  31. ^ "Annika Strandhäll prickas av KU: "Det är allvarligt!"". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  32. ^ Knutson, Mats (18 December 2019). "Januaripartierna överens: Arbetsförmedlingen kvar i hela landet". SVT (in Swedish). Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  33. ^ Chatterjee, Phelan. "Vänsterpartiet drar tillbaka hot om misstroende". Sveriges Radio (in Swedish). Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  34. ^ Wicklén, Johan (6 December 2019). "Vänsterpartiet och misstroendeförklaringen – detta har hänt". SVT (in Swedish). Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  35. ^ "Så ersätter Arbetsförmedlingen de nedlagda kontoren". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 17 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  36. ^ a b "Löfvens regeringskris 2021 – detta har hänt". DN.SE (in Swedish). 17 June 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  37. ^ Regeringskansliet, Regeringen och (4 June 2021). "Utredning föreslår en ny lag om fri hyressättning vid nyproduktion av bostäder". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  38. ^ "V: Regeringen får 48 timmar på sig". DN.SE (in Swedish). 15 June 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  39. ^ Nyheter, S. V. T. (19 June 2021). "Misstroendehot mot Löfven". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  40. ^ Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Riksdagen riktar en misstroendeförklaring mot statsminister Stefan Löfven (S)". riksdagen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  41. ^ Nyheter, S. V. T. (19 June 2021). "Stefan Löfven avgår som statsminister". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  42. ^ Wikén, Johan (7 July 2021). "Stefan Löfven blir statsminister igen". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  1. Januariavtalet
    , which built the foundation for Löfven's governance, was dissolved after the vote, the party revoked their support.
  2. ^ During the lengthy government formation process of 2018-2019, the right-wing opposition's budget was adopted for the fiscal year of 2019.
Preceded by
Löfven I
Cabinet of Sweden

2019–2021
Succeeded by
Löfven III