If Denmark is doing so well, why make welfare cuts?

LO shares the Prime Minister’s assessment that Denmark has become richer. – So why does the government find it necessary to cut down on welfare, education and health & safety at work?

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The Budget

In his opening address to the Danish Parliament last week, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen focused on how “Denmark is doing well”, “economic growth has taken hold” and “employment is high”. Meanwhile, only a few weeks ago, the government presented a proposed Budget for 2018 which includes cuts to welfare, education and health and safety at work.

– This doesn’t make sense. What we need now, more than ever, is to invest in training and education – especially vocational training – so that we can prevent an even bigger shortage of skilled workers in the future says LO’s First Vice President, Arne Grevsen.

– We need to improve occupational health and safety to ensure more “good years” on the labour market as the retirement age is continuously raised. We also need a solid and permanent effort to fight social dumping so that everyone can make a decent, living wage.

No need for tax cuts 

In his speech, Lars Løkke vowed to “reduce tax on earned income for those who earn least”.

– But the richest are the ones with the most to gain from the government’s tax cuts. The government has tried to lay down a smokescreen, but the fact is that the richest have the most to gain – both in terms of amounts and percentages. The government’s proposal for a tax reform is, unfortunately, in it’s essence, unequal.

– What worries me is that the Prime Minister did not mention how he plans to finance these tax cuts. The government has previously announced cuts to transfer payments. But which ones? We still need an answer to this 35 days after the publication of the government’s tax proposal, says Arne Grevsen.