Autumn budget officially presented
(National) Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson (S) presented the autumn budget on Sept. 20. Many of the initiatives are already known, the largest of which is SEK 10 billion to local governments and SEK 3.5 billion to refugees and integration. Focus on climate change and development of a strategy to combat violence against women are also emphasized. The total budget proposal is SEK 23.6 billion, while at the same time Sweden is reporting a budget deficit. The government hopes to attract additional money through increased income taxes and higher taxes on alcohol and gasoline. An introduction on taxing banks is also considered.

Higher fees expected on Swedish drinking water
According to the Swedish Water organization, the Nordic nation could expect to see substantial increases in charges for drinking water in the future. Neglected maintenance and stricter requirements require work to remedy the situation to move at a much quicker pace than it is today. “One problem is that the long term perspective is often missing,” said Anna Linusson, president of Swedish Water. "If we continue at this pace, it will take 250 years to replace all the pipes,” she told Göteborgs Posten. In 20 years, the cost of drinking water will increase between 50 and 100 percent.

Luxury housing for refugees threatened
(Integration) The decision to set up refugees in luxury accommodations has been met with hate and threats of arson. The first tenants will move into temporary housing at Lilleby campground in Torslanda within the next couple weeks, but a closed Facebook group is collecting supporters to take action by burning down the accommodations. The group, Neighbors in Torslanda Without Censorship, has approximately 4,000 members. Prior to these latest threats, Ami Höglund, CEO of Swedish Homes AB, told Göteborgs Posten that many neighbors attempted to halt the housing project with various appeals against building. "This is very surprising. I’m used to most people who want to help,” she told the newspaper.

Government seeks more quota refugees
(National) Sweden wishes to increase ways for safe and legal entry of refugees seeking asylum in the Nordic nation. The government calls for additional “quota refugees” increasing numbers from the current 1900-3400 in 2017 to 5000 in 2018. The increases will be funded by decreases in international aid — decreasing monetarily — as the number of refugees arriving locally increases.

Opinion poll reveals dissatisfaction
(National) Seven out of 10 men, and half of the women polled believe Sweden is on the wrong track, reports Aftonbladet. That’s 69 percent of all men and women and an increase from when the survey was last taken in June. In terms of environmental issues, most Swedes believe the country is strong, but healthcare initiatives received the highest level of dissatisfaction, with integration a close second. Satisfaction is also low with employment, taxes, assistance, law and order, economy and housing. The survey was conducted Sept. 7-12 as part of Schibsted’s opinion panel and interviewed 1366 Swedes over the age of 18.