RUT Tax Deduction Increased

Holger Wästlund / Sveriges Riksdag

Book (in Swedish): here
The Swedish parliament’s process leading up to the decision: here


A Threefold Critique of Tax Deductions RUT and ROT
(Division of Labor, Commodification, Regressive Distribution)

Rut-avdrag is a tax deduction for domestic services in Sweden. It was implemented in 2007, and has been expanded continuously. Rut is an acronym for rengöring, underhåll, and tvätt (cleaning, maintenance, and washing), but it is also the Swedish spelling of the feminine forename Ruth.

Rot-avdrag is a tax deduction for construction services on existing, privately owned buildings in Sweden. Rot is an acronym for renovering, ombyggnad, and tillbyggnad (renovation, reconstruction, and additional construction). The tax deduction is part of a larger and older stimulation program called ROT-programmet. The Swedish word “rot” means root.


Commodification and Capital Expansion

Excerpt from David Harvey, “The Right to the City” (pp 5-6 in Rebel Cities, 2012):

The politics of capitalism are affected by the perpetual need to find profitable terrains for capital surplus production and absorption. In this the capitalist faces a number of obstacles to continuous and trouble-free expansion. If there is a scarcity of labor and wages are too high, then either existing labor has to be disciplined (technologically induced unemployment or an assault on organized working class power – such as that set in motion by Thatcher and Reagan in the 1980s – are two prime methods) or fresh labor forces must be found (by immigration, export of capital, or proletarianization of hitherto independent elements in the population). New means of production in general and new natural resources in particular must be found. This puts increasing pressure on the natural environment to yield up the necessary raw materials and absorb the inevitable wastes. The coercive laws of competition also force new technologies and organizational forms to come on line all the time, since capitalists with higher productivity can out-compete those using inferior methods. Innovations define new wants and needs, and reduce the turnover time of capital and the friction of distance. This extends the geographical range over which the capitalist is free to search for expanded labor supplies, raw materials, and so on. If there is not enough purchasing power in an existing market, then new markets must be found by expanding foreign trade, promoting new products and lifestyles, creating new credit instruments and debt-financed state expenditures. If, finally, the profit rate is too low, then state regulation of “ruinous competition;’ monopolization (mergers and acquisitions), and capital exports to fresh pastures provide ways out.”

David Harvey
“The Right to the City” in Rebel Cities
Verso, London 2012