The Swedish municipality of Härjedalen will be investigating the true costs of asylum and migration as other local governments face financial crises.
The investigation was announced by the local Centre Party politician Anders Häggkvist who said it was important to investigate the matter “so that we can discuss it in an open way”, Nyheter Idag reports.
The proposal, which was originally tabled by Olle Larsson of the Eurosceptic Independent Rural Party, comes after a local report that showed the municipality had spent 900,000 SEK ($92,987/£75,442) on minor migrants in the last financial statement.
The costs are high for the municipality which has just 10,000 residents but is just part of the costs for asylum seekers which includes six HVB asylum homes, one of which remains empty, and around 50 apartments leased by the municipal housing company.
Social Democrat Lars-Gunnar Nordlander, who serves as deputy municipal councillor and chairman of the social committee, said migrants were a resource for the area.
"It will in principle be impossible to get them to work… the fear of discussing the issue has been devastating. It is unfortunate that we have not been able to discuss soberly without the racist card coming out," said the council chairman. https://t.co/B75AiD53uh
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The investigation comes after several other local governments in Sweden that took large numbers of asylum seekers since 2015 have raised alarm over looming financial crises as migrants with low education and language skills remain on welfare benefits and are unable to join the labour force.
Since August, three municipalities have voiced concerns over their financial futures including Bengtsfors which petitioned the national Swedish government for money in order to avoid potential bankruptcy.
Filipstad complained not only of the low educational backgrounds of the asylum seekers now residing in the municipality but also of an added problem of native Swedes leaving the area and greatly weakening the already strained tax base.
Claes Hultgren, the local municipal manager, spoke of the issues with new migrants saying: “In this group, unemployment and dependency are very high, while education levels are very low. This group runs the risk of ending in an eternal alienation that is already heavily burdening the municipal economy.”