The increasing costs of population growth in Sweden, driven almost entirely mass migration, have forced the government to seriously consider raising the national retirement age to pay for the additional costs.
Swedish Socialist party Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson announced that the retirement age would likely be raised in the near future in order to offset increased welfare costs, Swedish newspaper Expressen reports.
“Looking at those who start working at 30, there should be opportunities to work longer than 65,” Andersson said.
The minister made her remarks following an economic report from the Local Authorities and County Council (SKL) released earlier this week. The report claimed that the welfare state would grow faster than revenue obtained through taxation due to the dramatic rise of Sweden’s population.
Due to the influx of migrants during the migrant crisis and Sweden’s growing birthrate, the population of the country has expanded faster than almost any other European country.
Some Swedish cities, like the southern city of Malmo, owe their population growth almost entirely to mass migration from predominantly Middle Eastern countries.
The SKL study claims there is a 47 billion SEK (£4.1 billion) gap between current revenue and welfare state costs that will have to be made up either by tax increases or increasing the retirement age.
While migrants are increasing the cost of the Swedish welfare state in terms of added infrastructure and cost for services, many are unemployed and directly on welfare. A recent report showed that while the native Swedish unemployment rate was around 3.9 percent, it stood at 21.8 percent for Swedish residents from foreign backgrounds.
A 2016 report claimed that the one-year cost of the migrant crisis for the Swedish taxpayer could amount to as much as 600 billion Swedish Kronor (£48.3 billion), enough to pay for the national armed forces for the next 14 years. Stockholm University associate professor Jan Tullberg made the calculations based on welfare and housing costs, education costs and other factors.