Sweden no longer has the highest tax burden in the world as reported on the radio, by some Danish media, and of course – The Local. Just the second highest. Denmark claimed the top spot after the "conservative" government here in Sweden lowered the taxes. As promised.
So Denmark sits atop the list with a tax burden of 48.4%. Sweden is reported to have a burden of 47.8%. But don't worry Reinfeldt says that that is old information and it is actually below 47%. Wooooo.
The tax burden isn't just the tax rate. It includes all the exciting taxes you might pay. My understanding that the burden includes your income tax, your tax on food, your tax on booze, your tax on everything. Which puts it up at nearly 50%. Ridiculous.
That means that a Swede is just barely living for himself. Just barely. When I say living for himself I’m talking about what a person gets to keep income-wise. Seeing as how a person works and gets paid they should get to keep some of that money. I would argue a clear majority of it. In my opinion 53% is not a clear majority. Taxes I understand. They happen. But when a tax burden is reaching nearly 50% that means that nearly half of what I do goes somewhere else. More importantly, not to me.
With a tax burden of around 47% only 53% goes to the individual, the rest obviously going to whatever the Swedish government deems fit. That blows my mind. That’s a whole lot of work that I’m doing for other people. That’s a whole lot of my hard-earned money that is going to other people.
What I wonder is if this has an impact on the working environment and a workers attitude. I would imagine it does. A sense of personal responsibility comes when you get to keep what you earn. And it follows, maybe idealistically but, that if you do good work you get better paid. Which is more money in your pocket. So if so much money is going into the governments pocket is there an economic incentive to actually do good work? Is this why customer service struggles in this country? Is this why I have had numerous people at cash registers talk on their cell phone while I paid? Is this why I am never greeted when walking into a store? Is this why I have to search for someone for help when I need it?
Welcome to Sweden. The country with only the 2nd highest tax burden.