The Government has proposed further measures in response to the continued spread of COVID-19. These include an extension of financial support to companies as well as an extended borrowing limit to the Public Health Agency of Sweden to enable it to enter into further vaccine agreements. The Riksdag partially voted in favour of the Government's proposal.
The proposal includes the following measures.
- The strengthened support for short-time work schemes (also known as short-term layoffs) for the period January–March 2021 will be extended. The Government has proposed an extension until the end of April, but the Riksdag decided that the support should continue until the end of June. During this period, central government will bear 75 per cent of the costs. The appropriation for support in the event of short-time work will increase by a total of SEK 3.54 billion in 2021. The extension of this support will start to apply on 29 March 2021.
- The appropriation for redeployment support will increase by SEK 11.2 billion in 2021, partly in order to extend the support through March and April 2021, and partly to include salary costs in the strengthened redeployment support in the event of decisions to shut down activities. The Swedish Tax Agency and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth will also receive increased funding for their processing of the support.
- The Public Health Agency of Sweden's borrowing limit will be extended by a total of SEK 11 billion to enable the agency to enter into agreements with new vaccine manufacturers if necessary.
In total, the measures mean that central government expenditure will increase by SEK 15.5 billion in 2021.
The Riksdag also sees a need for a guarantee support for culture and sport in order to enable actors to plan and prepare, but also to scale down and cancel events from 1 June 2021. The Riksdag calls on the Government, by way of an announcement, to get back to the Riksdag with a proposal concerning such guarantee support. The Riksdag's assessment is that SEK 3.5 billion should be appropriated for the guarantee support in 2021.