New city budget a flop on the right – The Post

New city budget a flop on the right

Conservative parties say the 2014 Copenhagen budget agreement is bad for industry and homeowners, while cycling advocates bemoan loss of infrastructure funds

September 14th, 2013 7:08 am| by admin

The political majority that approved the 2014 budget for Copenhagen did not include members of the opposition parties Venstre (V), Liberal Alliance (LA) or Konservative (K). In fact, members of both LA and K have openly expressed their disdain for the plan.

LA's top candidate in Copenhagen for November's council elections, Lars Berg Dueholm, called the agreement “a disgrace for business and homeowners” and a “socialist experiment bound to go wrong".

“There was barely enough time for a cup of coffee at the negotiating table before [Copenhagen mayor] Frank Jensen flatly refused to reduce either property, personal income or corporate taxes,” Dueholm said in a statement. “We ended up with a red-as-a-fox deal that is exactly the opposite of what we need.”

A broad majority consisting of Jensen's Socialdemokraterne, Socialistisk Folkeparti, Radikale, Enhedslisten and Dansk Folkeparti agreed on the plan, but V and K representatives walked out of the budget negotiations on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Schools, shelter and smack: New city budget has something for everybody

"The left will spend a fortune"
City Council member Rasmus Jarlov (K) was particularly displeased with the decision to set aside 200 million kroner to build 640 new family homes and 605 student homes in the coming years.

“The left will spend a fortune to build affordable housing for a small, fortunate minority,” Jarlov said in a statement.  “By doing so, they make housing more expensive for everyone else – both tenants and homeowners – by causing property taxes to continue to rise.”

Jarlov said that the plan will only make it more expensive to live in Copenhagen, which in turn will create a need for even more cheap housing.

“So, will they the build more affordable housing and raise taxes again?” he asked. "It is an endless cycle."

READ MORE: Opinion | Copenhagen is an economic disaster

Expensive for cyclists
It wasn't just the opposition expressing disappointment with the budget, however. Lars Barfred, editor of Bikecopenhagen.dk  said that the new budget robs Peter to pay Poul when it comes to funds for the city’s large biking community.

“[The Council has] cut bike infrastructure funds from 75 million kroner to 50 million kroner in order to pay for the overly expensive city bike programme they are developing,” Barfred said in an email to The Copenhagen Post. “The 25 million kroner lost to everyday cyclists will fund the majority of the city bike initiative.”

Barfred said that the average Copenhagener has little use for the bike share programme.