In a Guiding judgement of June 12, the Kammarratten in Jonkoping arrived at a decision to regard Women/Wives who are in a Polygamous marriage as a ” Single Mother with a child/children” for the purposes of paying Housing Allowance. This decision, in effect, means that the multiple Wives of Muslim immigrants would be eligible to be paid one thousand kronor more per month than a Husband with the Swedish Society tradition of 1 wife.
By – Elodie Lewis
A representative from the Social Security department bought an appeal against the decision of the Social welfare fund made on 12 June 2017 to grant housing allowance to a married woman who originated in a Middle East Muslim country, with three children, as if she was a single woman. In this case the Woman’s Husband had 2 Wives and he lived alternatively with both Wives.
It should be noted that under Sharia Law a man can have up to 4 wives.
The woman presented herself to the Social welfare Fund as a married woman and declared she should be regarded as a married woman. Despite this the Swedish Social welfare Agency assessed that her Muslim husband was already registered with the one (other) wife – and therefore the second wife will receive the full housing allowance as a single person.
The General Representative is employed by the Social welfare Agency, but shall act independently of the Authority and, in particular, seek guidance in unclear and prejudicial cases. In this case, the Ombud challenged the decision that the Authority should receive guidance from courts in how the regulations should be applied.
This decision was appealed to the Administrative Court in Linkoping , however in January 2018 the Court decided that the Swedish Social welfare Agency’s decision should be applied and that the woman should therefore be regarded as single for the purposes of receiving housing allowance.
Among other things in the judgement it was noted that in accordance with her Islamic faith a man can have up to 4 wives.
The administrative court admits in the judgment that the woman “de facto is not single, but has a husband she has 3 children with and, in each case, periodically lives with her in the apartment for which she applies for housing allowance.”
However, this circumstance is not considered to be a barrier in the decision to grant her a single woman’s full housing allowance grant.
On June 12, the Kammarrätten in Jönköping decided to approve the administrative court’s assessment.
Thus, this test case becomes the landmark case for all future similar cases put before the Swedish Social welfare Agency and it becomes the indicative verdict for the Swedish Social welfare Agency which will determine all similar cases in the future according to the judgment’s summing up and reasoning.
According to the Swedish Tax Agency’s current estimate, there are about 300 families this housing allowance ruling could apply to in Sweden.
Most of the immigrants applying for these benefits come from rural areas in the Middle East and Somalia,
In such family hierachies/structures , it is the man – the husband who has the role as head of the family , and as such he will be expected to take charge of all the income coming into the family either from his wives or elsewhere.
Therefore, housing allowance paid to women in such polygamous marriages will go to the husband.
Last Autumn these issues of ‘cultural diversity’ came to the public’s knowledge when it was reported that in the municipality of Nacka a Syrian man with three wives and sixteen children claimed three tenant rights which came to a total of SEK 14 million.
According to the ‘Social News’ calculation , the Syrian polygamist and his sixteen children will spend SEK 8.2 million of Swedish tax payers contributions during their first 8 years in Sweden.
Source: Egor Putilov, samnytt.se
Read more: From 2018/07/30