Nya Moderaterna (M) or the new Moderates in English, answer the 9 Political Questions asked to all major parties represented in Stora Torget, Uppsala.
Answering our questions is Moderaterna candidate for Uppsala Fredrik Hultman.
1. What are the core values your party represents?
The Moderate Party defines its ideology as liberal-conservative. According to the party platform, our core values are Liberty, Safety, Openness and Justice.
We believe in the potential of every human being to improve their own lives and the lives of others through entrepreneurship and innovation. Therefore, we want government to be limited, but the state to be strong when it is needed.
2. Where would you place your party in the Left-Right political spectrum?
The party is usually described as being centre-right.
3.Which are the parties you feel closest to in the European Parliament?
The Moderate Party is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) party group, and has traditionally been rather similar to the British Conservative Party (although, they left the EPP some years ago). The Moderate Party is by far more EU positive than the British Conservatives, but we still share some core ideological tenets with them.
We also have a lot of things in common with the Finnish Kokoomus, the German CDU and the Irish Fine Gael.
4. Why should people vote for your party?
We are a party for the hopeful, the ambitious and the hard working. We believe in the potential of every human being to achieve great things, and want politics to reflect that. Politicians should keep out of people lives, and encourage private initiatives and entrepreneurship. But we also need a strong state, that could provide a strong safety net for those who need support, such as the sick and the elderly.
If more people work and contribute to society, we have more tax money to spend on promoting the general welfare of all people, by investing in education, health care and care for the elderly. We are not the party that makes the most extravagant promises, but we never promise more than we can deliver. We always prioritises core welfare services, such as health care, care for the elderly and education. Those services are provided at municipal and a county level.
5. What are the general priorities your party aims at achieving throughout Sweden?
Our main priorities in this election are reforming the benefits system, cutting taxes for low-income workers and pensioners, investing heavily in cutting waiting times in the health care system, implementing effective environmental policies and ensuring that Sweden is safe by investing in the police force to ensure the rule of law.
For the past four years we have seen a rapid rise in violent crime and sex offences. The government has been unable to address this. The number of police has dwindled due to internal issues at the police authority and poor working conditions, while too few are accepted to the Police Academy to meet the need of the Swedish police force. This has also lead to many serious criminal offences not being investigated within a reasonable time. The Moderates want to raise police salaries significantly.
Since the refugee crisis in 2015 it has been made abundantly clear that Sweden cannot have migration policies that greatly diverges from neighbouring countries. Therefore, we want to keep some of the fundamental parts of the temporary legislation that was enacted in 2016, and which expires in 2019. For example, we want temporary residency permits to be the general rule and demand that immigrants who bring over family member show that they will be able to support them financially. We also want improve integration policies by demanding that immigrants learn basic Swedish as a condition to earn permanent residency and citizenship.
Today, taxes are high while it is still possible to earn more from government handouts than by working. We want to introduce a benefit cap, to incentivise work. For the same reasons, we also want to cut taxes for low income earners. As a matter of fairness, we also want to cut taxes for pensioners, so that people who have worked their whole lives can support themselves.
During the past four years waiting times have risen steadily in health care. We want to invest directly in decreasing waiting times. We also want to introduce more teaching hours in primary schools, to improve results and offer more support to students who lag behind.
We are the only party that has presented a plan to increase defence funding so that it will be 2 % of GDP, in line with the NATO requirement, and we also want Sweden to join Nato.
6. Why should people vote for your party on a Local level?
We are the party that prioritises safety, low taxes and core welfare services. We want local government to run more efficiently and cut municipal taxes so that working families and pensioners get to keep more of the money they’ve earnt. By committing to focussing on core welfare services, we can also afford to cut taxes. The Moderate Party is the best option for those who want sound economic policies.
Today, the tax rate in Uppsala municipality is higher than in comparable municipalities, but the welfare services are not by any comparison better in Uppsala than in other municipalities. Out of 290 municipalities, Uppsala schools now rank in 146th place. When the Moderate Party gained power in 2006, schools ranked in 214th place. In 2014 when we lost power, Uppsala ranked in 54th place. We have improved school results before, and with our policies we will be able to do so again.
7. If elected, what will you do for Uppsala? And for Uppland?
In Uppsala we want to implement our seven-point programme for schools, by introducing qualified teacher assistants to minimise teachers’ workload, and allow them to focus more on teaching. We also want to introduce centralised corrections of test, and implement a model for developing better teaching through teacher conferences lead by qualified researchers, or teachers with an equivalent level of academic education.
We want to focus on making Uppsala safer, by introducing more camera surveillance in public places and having more security guards in public areas. It is unacceptable that many citizens are afraid to go out because of the rise in violent crime.
We want benefits for the unemployed to be tied to demands for work applications. There must always be incentives to find work. In Uppsala, everyone who is able to work, should be expected to.
We promise to immediately add funding to schools that need extra funding for children with special needs. We believe that the cuts to that funding has been irresponsible and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We also want to improve the traffic situation, by creating more parking spaces and get rid of the bottle necks that create traffic jams.
At a regional level, we want to address the staffing needs at the Akademiska Hospital. Nurses have been resigning at a discouraging rate, to the extent that certain wards cannot remain open. We want to introduce a career system, which rewards loyalty and experience, and also conduct necessary re-organisations to improve working hours for hospital employees.
We also want to make investments collective traffic, and are open to creating a tram system, provided that it is the most feasible and economically sound alternative.
8. Do you have any links to further material on your party in English?
It is important to note that the Moderate Party is cooperating closely with the Alliance (Alliansen), which also consists of “Centerpartiet”, Kristdemokraterna and Liberalerna.
Therefore, we have agreed on certain sets of policies that we would like to implement together with those parties if we are able to rule as a coalition on national, regional and/or municipal level. A vote for the Moderate Party is therefore also a vote for the Alliance. We have no intention of collaborating with other political parties, especially not the Sweden Democrats. However, we have reached agreements with the Social Democrats and the Green Party on important issues in the past, such as the Energy agreement two years ago that was agreed in parliament, and we are open to more of those agreements in the future.
We governed as the Alliance on a national level, in Uppsala municipality and in the Uppsala region between 2006 and 2014. Since 2014 we have been in opposition, and are now looking forward to get back into power.