Home Renovation Ideas
In Sweden, the domestic services sector, such as home repairs, cleaning, and home maintenance have traditionally been a sector where work to a large extent is carried out undeclared (the Swedish Tax Agency, 2011). In light of this, the Swedish government introduced a tax deduction on household services (RUT) with the aim of combating undeclared work and boosting employment in the sector. The RUT deduction was introduced on 1 July 2007. The tax relief on home repair and maintenance (ROT) was originally initiated in the 1990s as a temporary measure to boost employment in the construction sector. Since then, the measure has been on and off but was implemented on a temporary basis on 8 December 2008, as a consequence of the economic crisis.

The home improvement and speciality goods trade operates in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. At the end of 2015, the total number of employees was 12,270.

In the building and home improvement trade, Kesko is the market leader in Finland and the fifth largest operator in Europe.

The chains of the building and home improvement trade are K-rauta, Rautia, Byggmakker, Senukai, OMA, Asko and Sotka. Rautakesko B2B Service serves large business customers in the sector. B2B sales already account for over 40% of the K-Group's sales in the building and home improvement trade.

In January 2016, Kesko announced that it had made an agreement to acquire Onninen, a company specialised in the trade of HEPAC and electrical products, thereby strengthening its position in the European building and technical trade. The completion of the acquisition is subject to the approval of the competition authorities.

The first K-rauta Express stores were opened in Helsinki and Espoo in autumn 2015. The new store concept brings building and home improvement store services to city and shopping centres. In addition to tools, the selection focuses on home improvement and decoration products, such as paints and surface materials, and particularly serves the home renovation needs of city dwellers. Customers also have K-rauta’s wide product selection available for them to order for delivery to the K-rauta Express store.

Rautakesko B2B Service updated its online services and opened a Dekostudio on Bulevardi, Helsinki in November 2015 especially to serve business customers.

Largely funded by taxes

Life expectancy in Sweden is among the highest in the world: 79.9 years for men and 83.7 years for women. In Sweden, 5.2 per cent of the population are aged 80, which is slightly more than the EU average of 5.1 per cent. Since more and more citizens in this age group are in good health, their care requirements have declined since the 1980s.

Most elderly care is funded by municipal taxes and government grants. In 2014, the total cost of elderly care in Sweden was SEK 109.2 billion (USD 12.7 billion, EUR 11.7 billion), but only 4 per cent of the cost was financed by patient charges. Healthcare costs paid by the elderly themselves are subsidised and based on specified rate schedules.

Public or private

More municipalities are choosing to privatise parts of their elderly care, letting private care providers run their operations. In 2013, private care provided services for 24 per cent of all elderly people getting home help. All recipients can choose whether they want their home help or special housing to be provided by public or private operators. The municipality always has overall responsibility, however, for areas such as funding and allocating home help or a place in a special housing facility.

The number of private companies in the social service sector increased fivefold between 1995 and 2005. Media investigations have unearthed alarming shortfalls among several private care companies. In subsequent criticism, the companies were accused of letting profit have a negative impact on the standard of care. For more information , visit missionshus.se

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