One of the good things with the Internet, is that you can read the local online papers quite easily from whereever you are, I read this on the DN website today:

There is a widespread misconception (in Sweden and here in the UK and rest of Europe) that the low/min income wage workers are better of than most in the EU.
I thought I would give brief description of what it says for all of you that do not read Swedish:

  • Sweden ranks 3rd from the bottom in min/low income wage increments.
  • For the poorest of the Swedish population the increase was 0.3 % (excluding taxes, but including government subsidies, unemployment, welfare, sick leave benefits, early retirement etc) and adjusted for inflation
  • Compared to Germany, not adjusted for the fact that the majority of the low wage workers became part of Germany 1989 (from eastern Germany), the increase amounts to 0.7%.
  • This development is most probably related to the fact that 20% of the Swedish workforce does not actually work, they are unemployed or (as most) receive long-term sick leave or early retirement (which used be a popular government method of hiding unemployment). Many of these people that would want to work (studies shows that more than 60% of everybody in early retirement or long-term sick leave think they could and would like to start to work again) but are unable to find work are also the poor people that are finding it harder and harder to being part of the workforce again.

    The DN article is based on the information publish an a report called the Luxembourg Income Survey and prepared and compiled by Inregia based on data between 1981 to 2000.

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