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Fri Nov 23, 2012, 05:35 PM


Sweden to offer tax breaks to people who hire tutors for their children

A Swedish government plan to offer tax breaks to parents who hire tutors for their children has sparked fresh fears about rising class divisions in the traditionally egalitarian nation.

Though the country is home to the Swedish model of high taxes and generous welfare, data from the OECD club of wealthy nations has shown inequalities rising. The center-right government of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has over six years chipped away at the social welfare system and rolled out wide tax rebates.

The aim to become one of the few countries to offer tax breaks for families who pay tutors to help their children with homework after school has touched off a new debate.

"Politicians must try to keep the country together. This tears us apart," opposition Social Democrat parliamentarian Hans Olsson told Reuters. "The people who are on benefits and need help, aren't going to be able to use this."

Eva-Lis Siren, chairman of the Swedish teachers' union, is also against the proposal.


Sweden is further along the neo-liberal path than the US is in some respects; their education and public housing systems have both been neo-liberalized. This is more of the same.

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