Swedes Living Abroad Protest

By Urban Jendelid

Swedish citizens living abroad pay a special tax called “SINK-skatt” which is 25 percent on their income. A fast growing number of these Swedes find this tax unfair, out of date and think it must be abolished.
Prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt promised in the latest election campaign a radical change of the “SINK”-regulations. Though since then nothing has happened.
Citizens living outside Sweden and paying SINK-tax have no benefits from the tax they pay. They have no social security whatsoever. No subsidized health care, no health insurance, no free schools for their children and so on.
Although paying full tax, the Swedes living abroad have no possibility to use the normal Swedish benefits. If someone has an accident or acute illness she or he can not reach a Swedish hospital. Their children can not attend to Swedish schools.
Our citizens living abroad are confined to use local hospitals and schools where they live. Only private institutions are available with considerably high costs that have to be paid out of their own pockets. Because of this it is difficult to feel motivated to pay 25 percent tax.
Many years ago, only very wealthy people and people earning top level money moved abroad.
Today it is ordinary salary earners and retired elderly people who are moving out of the country for various reasons. The SINK-tax is a remain from some socialist government at that old time.
A repeal of the SINK-tax law would only cause a marginal loss of revenues.
The Swedish people have always associated tax paying to being entitled to receive benefits from the community and will do so for all future. No benefits – no tax.

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