Sweden allots extra $1.23 billion for teachers, medics amid migrant influx

by Reuters
Monday, 4 April 2016 15:32 GMT

DATE IMPORTED:January 28, 2016Children Nor, Saleh and Hajaj Fatema from Syria sleep outside the Swedish Migration Board in Marsta, outside Stockholm, Sweden. Picture taken January 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jessica Gow/TT NEWS AGENCY

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The additional funds were announced by the nation's centre-left minority government

Bu Johan Sennero

STOCKHOLM, April 4 (Reuters) - Sweden said on Monday it would allot an extra 10 billion crowns ($1.23 billion) to regional and local authorities to hire more teachers and healthcare workers to help cope with a migrant influx that has strained public services.

Last year the government gave local authorities an additional 10 billion crowns to meet the costs of processing record numbers of asylum seekers.

The additional 10 billion announced on Monday will form part of the centre-left minority government's autumn budget to be unveiled in September and financing for the measure will be outlined then, officials said.

"The money will be aimed at municipalities that have taken on a big responsibility and accepted a great number of refugees," Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson told reporters.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said that the new cash would create up to 10,000 new jobs and was part of the government's goal of achieving Europe's lowest unemployment rate by 2020.

"The billions we are investing in welfare are a clear signal that this government stands for building up society, not tax cuts. The Swedish model is not going to be scrapped but developed," he said.

The coalition will release its spring budget, which usually involves minor spending and revenue measures, on April 13.

($1 = 8.1260 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Johan Sennero; Editing by Simon Johnson and Mark Heinrich)

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