Sweden cuts services for the disabled
Austerity measures threaten to erode a successful social scheme in Sweden whereby people with disabilites are allocated personal assistants so that they can be largely self-sufficient in their home environment. The media have recently reported several cases in which even people with severe disabilities have seen these services cut or their applications rejected entirely. Sweden's newspapers are furious.
Punishment by the electorate sure to come
Those who voted for the Red-Green government will not forgive this decision, Aftonbladet believes:
“Two-year old Elvira is blind and severely brain-damaged, yet she gets no personal assistant. Cimon, four, suffers up to 50 epileptic fits a day, yet is now losing his assistant. According to Åsa Regnér [the minister responsible for the cuts] the costs are too high. Regnér is trying to defend the new hard line. ... But she will never win the support of the people for these measures. Cutting care costs could prove to be the government's stumbling block. The cases of these helpless children may dog it all the way to the elections [in autumn 2018].”
Refugee situation leads to cuts
Göteborgs-Posten sees its worst fears confirmed:
“Left-leaning panellists and politicians in particular keep on telling us we can afford to open our hearts (and our wallets) to those who have chosen to seek asylum in Sweden. Meanwhile Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson explained at a press conference exactly one year ago that because of the refugee situation there would have to be cuts in other areas. For a long time we were told it was reprehensible to play off groups against each other and that there was no conflict between virtually uncontrolled immigration and a generous welfare system. … But the politicians have to set priorities. Why is it once again the weakest that are hit hardest?”