Josefson (M): “Can’t live by a free culture”
It has been one year since the election. In Gothenburg, the election result led to a shift in power for the first time in 24 years, and a whole new party became the second largest. But what has happened in Gothenburg ever since? SVT News West has taken the pulse of some of the city’s biggest holders of power. First out: moderate Axel Josefson (M).
The 2018 election was a disappointment for many parties in Gothenburg. The biggest losers, in terms of percentage points, were the Moderates, who backed by almost eight percentage points. The then group leader Jonas Ransgård was forced to resign and was in a form of crisis. Nevertheless, they managed to live up to their clearest mantra before the election – after 24 years to remove the Social Democrats from power in Gothenburg.
Now a completely different mantra applies, which the chair of the municipal council Axel Josefson repeats in many interviews:
– We will focus on the core business and raise the quality of welfare.
“Can’t live by a free culture”
Since the Alliance took power in Gothenburg, a lot of the old red-green initiatives have been stopped or changed. The City of Gothenburg’s subsidization of public transport has been abolished so the period cards from Västtrafik have become more expensive. Free entrance for young people and pensioners at many swimming pools has been removed. Similarly, the investment in free sticks for pensioners.
What do you think this leads to when it comes to supporting your board?
– I certainly think that the individual wants a free sting and a free entrance, but I also believe that many understand that we cannot live by a free culture. We need to understand that things cost and that when you use one thing that you are also prepared to pay for it, says Axel Josefson.
Dark clouds in the sky
Some completely revolving changes are rarely visible in just one year, but during the term of office, the Alliance has changed the process of building housing, arranged with more security values in vulnerable areas, and given the school more money.
But on the horizon dark clouds are visible. The Swedish municipalities’ economy is running low, and in Gothenburg the Alliance has waved a lashing strap, and asked the various committees to prepare for it to be tightened soon.
Are you worried that these smaller costumes that you are now announcing for the committees will hit people too seriously.
– No, it will affect people, but I do not think it will affect people in any serious way. I also believe that there is a deep understanding among the Gothenburg citizens that one must make these priorities if one is not to step in and raise the tax, which we would like to avoid.
Does not close the door for tax increase
But the fact is that Josefson does not close the door for a tax increase during the term of office. On the contrary, he keeps it open and puts the ball over the government instead, whose proposal for a new equalization system could mean that Gothenburg loses around SEK 200 million.
– If the state chooses to continue that route, then there are not so many other opportunities for us municipalities to act on.