The new monthly salary threshold of 27,360 kronor for work permit applicants isn't just a headline; it's a real game changer, and not in a good way. It's not only about the newcomers dreaming of a Swedish life; it's hitting hard for those already here, their families, their kids.
The original idea, proposed by the Social Democrat-led government, sprung from the right instinct – the law was supposed to protect low-paid foreign workers from being exploited.
It was still obviously a flawed idea, one the Social Democrats have since backed away from, but it’s now been adopted by the current right-wing government, in the same way Dracula would drape a previously perfectly innocent scarlet cape around his shoulders before embarking on a hunt for blood.
Many of these workers aren't just making ends meet; they're earning their keep, fair and square.
These workers have half-decent salaries thanks to collective bargaining agreements. And here's the kicker: they're in jobs that don't match their skills, jobs they’re overqualified for, while they learn Swedish to qualify for permanent residency, so they can pursue their true vocations.
And what are their current roles? These aren't fringe jobs; they're the backbone of our daily life – the nursing assistant, your friendly cleaner, café waiters and kitchen pot washers. But wait, there's more.
These are potential future doctors, engineers, tech gurus, and teachers, stymied by language barriers and a Swedish job market that's not exactly renowned for rolling out the red carpet for international talent.
So, we now deport these people, many of whom have spent a small fortune on their Swedish degrees.
Never mind the loss of these tax-paying future superstars. How are we going to fill the jobs they do now? Do you expect these roles to be magically filled by the local jobless?
That’s not going to happen, especially up north where we don’t have enough people as it is.
Nils Vesterberg of the Moderates in Skellefteå last week took issue with the municipality’s personnel committee’s estimate of 130 staff being affected by the new salary threshold. He claimed that "5-6 people is a more realistic figure."
Maybe, Nils, you could help with the hunt for these 5-6 new staff that will be needed when your bone-headed legislation bites, because each of these people will leave a hole in Skellefteå’s services that will be hard to fill.
Of course, this legislation will hit Norrland disproportionately harder than most other areas. We’re the only region where economies are growing, and we need all sorts of workers, including many who won’t earn 27,360 kronor per month at first.
It’s difficult to believe the government could be this short-sighted, this committed to getting rid of as many non-EU workers as possible.
In the face of northern Sweden's green transition, a project of real global importance in tackling climate warming, such recklessness is utterly baffling.
The fact it was originally suggested by the Social Democrats is irrelevant. All parties propose legislation they may later regret and turn away from.
The devotion of the Sweden Democrat-indebted government in maintaining a policy so clearly damaging to both the economy and the environment suggests one stark reality: their desire for fewer brown faces overrides their concern for the nation's future.