Elimination of fat tax, a lifeline for those losing unemployment benefits, investments in green growth and better handling of family reunification cases are among the highlights of the finally-agreed-upon budget.
The long-in-the-works 2013 budget announced on Sunday will “create jobs and prosperity for Denmark and help the people who are about to have exhausted their unemployment benefits”, according to the Finance Ministry. The key elements of the 690 billion kroner budget, which was struck with far-left party Enhedslisten (EL)Sunday afternoon after months of negotiations, include:
- Jobless benefits. 480 million kroner to offer those who will lose their jobless benefits (dagpenge) on January 1 the right to six months of the smaller cash welfare benefitkontanthjælp if they agree to educational training
- Eliminating levies. The elimination of the unpopular fat and sugar taxes. The money will be made up by raising the raising the bundskat, or bottom tax rate, by 0.19 percent and lowering the personal allowance by 900 kroner
- Green growth. 1.5 billion kroner for a ‘green growth package’ that will improve the environment and create more green jobs between the period of 2013-2018. Among the initiatives are electrifying the railway between Køge and Næstved, encouraging ‘green entrepreneurs’ and supporting environmentally-friendly changes in the food industry
- Flex jobs. The creation of 13,500 additional flex-jobs
- Youth unemployment. A ‘youth package’ that will set aside 645 million kroner through 2017 to combat youth unemployment by encouraging more young people to take an education and helping those that have finished their educations get their first jobs
- Social improvements. Social investments totaling 1.1 billion kroner that include: 180 million kroner towards discounted dental care for socially-disadvantaged individuals; 3.7 million kroner to Nørrebro’s Natcafeen, an overnight shelter for foreign homeless people; a total of 18.5 million kroner over the next four years to expand opening hours and shorten waiting times for family reunification cases at Immigration Services (Udlændingestyrelsen); and various other programmes and investments targeting refugees, victims of human trafficking and other socially-disadvantaged people
- White-collar crime. Sharpened controls against economic crimes, including stiffer punishments for insider trading and bankruptcy fraud
- Culture. Free admission to the permanent exhibitions at the art museum Statens Museum for Kunst and increased financial support for the tourist attractions Fregatten Jylland and Den Gamle By.
Courtesy: The Copenhagen Post