Tage Fritiof Erlander


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(b. 13 June 1901, d. 21 June 1985).

Prime Minister of Sweden 1946–68 Born in Ransäter (Värmland), he graduated from Lund University in 1928. He worked as the editor of an encyclopaedia, but in 1933 was elected to the Riksdag (parliament) as a Social Democrat. He was an Under‐Secretary in the Social Department (1938–44), then Minister without Portfolio, and Minister of Education (1945). He was the party's surprise choice to succeed Per Albin Hansson as party leader and Prime Minister. He continued his predecessor's development of Sweden's model welfare state. Erlander introduced an extremely high rate of very progressive taxation in 1947 which was designed to reduce income inequalities and put large funds for redistribution into the hands of the state. In response, pensions were increased, and a child allowance scheme introduced, while other measures such as statutory holidays were in place by 1955. Erlander was able to overcome initial economic difficulties by capitalizing on the disunity among the opposition parties. He was able to sustain his model of a socialism that he took to be the middle way between Communism and capitalism, owing to his political craftsmanship, his pragmatism and common sense, and the blossoming of the economy. Erlander was succeeded by Palme, and wrote his memoirs in six volumes (1972–82).

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Politics.

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