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Swedish government avoids no-confidence bid, dropping two planned tax hikes

Swedish government avoids no-confidence bid, dropping two planned tax hikes
August 26, 2017

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s opposition has dropped plans for a no-confidence vote on some members of the minority centre-left coalition after it said on Saturday it would drop two of three planned tax hikes in its 2018 budget.

The government said it would still go ahead with an airline tax, however.

The daily Expressen reported earlier in the week that the coalition government had agreed with the Left Party, whose support it relies on, to withdraw plans for changes to tax rules for small companies and a measure to increase the number of people paying state income tax.

 The center-right opposition had threatened a vote of no-confidence in a number of government ministers if the minority coalition did not abandon its proposals to raise taxes.

“It is regrettable that the government pushes through the airline tax, but we won’t demand a no-confidence vote due to that,” Center Party leader Annie Loof of the opposition said on Twitter.

Sweden’s usually stable bloc politics have been thrown into turmoil in recent years with the rise of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

Neither the centre-left nor center-right is able to form a majority government without them, which they are reluctant or committed not to do.

“We still believe that these are proposals that could have contributed to even out gaps (in society),” Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson told a news conference, referring to the dropped tax plans.

"But given the current circus in parliament we have decided to withdraw those proposals."

Sweden's next election will be held on Sept. 9, 2018.