Sweden: an end to extra benefits for large families?
Sweden’s government is considering abolishing supplementary child benefits for large families. Currently the state pays 1,250 kronor — or roughly 105 euros — per month for the first child. The amount then gradually increases, so that a family with seven children receives around 172 euros per child. Statistics show that the system mainly benefits immigrant families. The press welcomes the initiative in the name of equality and integration.
Big families should finance themselves
Families with many children are not necessarily beneficial for the community, Göteborgs-Posten notes:
“Families with seven or eight children rather than two or three is not in the interest of the state, meaning the taxpayers. In fact they’re more of an economic burden because the mother will be out of the labour market for at least a decade. If the family lives in cramped quarters and can’t keep an eye on their teenagers, this can have negative social and hence economic consequences. ... Those who want to have a large family have every right to do so. But it should be clear to couples with family plans and to families moving to Sweden that they must finance this dream themselves.”
What’s needed is a feminist integration policy
The current system banishes migrant women in particular to the kitchen, columnist Hanne Kjöller writes in Dagens Nyheter:
“A woman who takes care of seven or eight children on her own hardly has time to learn Swedish or educate herself. ... Instead I propose a feminist domestic policy. More precisely: a feminist integration policy. This means that family planning must become a matter of course in Sweden, too, rather than just a ‘sensitive issue’. ... It means that social benefits must be reformed to ensure that women have real access to work and education and are not controlled by male family members. And that the Swedish state must stop rewarding men who bring a lot of children into the world that they then don’t even take care of.”