Saturday, April 29, 2006

Social Democrats Better Than Centre-Right On Spending

I previously noted here how the burden of government spending have fallen in recent years in some European countries, including Sweden.

Here is the economics editor of Sweden's third largest news paper, Johan Schück, noting the declining trend in government spending and how this is likely to continue until at least 2008, barring too costly election promises during the coming election.

One noteworthy aspect is that during the times when Sweden have had centre-right governments (1976-82 and 1991-94) the burden of government spending rose, while the social democratic governments between 1982 and 1991 and after 1994 have reduced the burden of government. While this comparison is partly unfair (As Schück notes) because the burden of government spending tends to be counter-cyclical and the centre-right governments ruled during cyclical downturns while the Social Democrats ruled during cyclical upswings, it nevertheless demonstrates the uselessness of the centre-right parties.

And with the centre-right parties pledging to spend even more than the Social Democrats on government consumption, taking away much of the small savings they plan in unemployment benefits and sick leave benefits, I don't think they will perform much better if they win this year's election.


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