Economist welcomes drop in number of people on public benefits – The Post

Economist welcomes drop in number of people on public benefits

But the proportion of the population in receipt of assistance remains comparatively high

Fewer in receipt of handouts (photo: iStock)
August 5th, 2015 2:32 pm| by Philip Tees
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According to figures from the national statistics office Danmarks Statistik, the number of people on public benefits has in the past year dropped by 27,400 to 757,900.

Move in the right direction
Bo Sandberg, the chief economist at the construction industry association Dansk Byggeri, said this is a positive sign that the measures put in place following the financial crisis are beginning to pay off.

“The working market reforms have begun to work,” he said.

“In the fifth year, the number on public benefits has moved slightly in the right direction, and broadly speaking the Danish economy is about to come out of the crisis.”

The number is nearing the level it was at before the financial crisis began in 2008, when 752,000 people were on benefits.

Dansk Byggeri expects the number to fall further in the coming years and proposes a target of 600,000 by 2020.

“That requires that the current trend of close to 30,000 fewer people on benefits per year can continue in the period 2016-20. That’s a useable and not unrealistic target.”

Currently the proportion of 16 to 64-year-olds on benefits in Denmark is 21 percent, which remains high compared to neighbouring countries. In Sweden the proportion is 15 percent, and in Germany it is 16 percent.