Following the introduction of controversial benefit reforms in January last year, nearly 50,000 A-kasse members have lost their insured unemployment benefits – the dagpenge.
According to a study done by unemployment insurance association AK Samvirke, nearly 17,000 people lost their dagpenge last year alone.
Eligibility requirements tightened
Changes adopted in 2010 tightened the dagpenge rules. Eligibility slipped from four to two years, and the amount of working time needed to become eligible for benefits was increased from six to 12 months.
At the time the reforms were adopted, the politicians behind the changes estimated that no more than 4,000 claimants per year would lose their benefits.
“Far more than expected continue to lose their benefits,” AK Samvirke president Torben Paulsen told Jyllands-Posten. “The reform is creating a lot of insecurity, both among those who have already lost their benefits and those who are afraid of losing their jobs.”
Changes needed immediately
Enhedslistens political spokesperson Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen said that the government needs to change the benefits period.
“This is simply serious,” Schmidt-Nielsen told Jyllands-Posten. “The benefit system is not working. Thousands are falling out of the system.”
The government has established a commission to look into the situation, but its recommendations are not due until later this year. Schmidt-Nielsen said that is just not good enough.
“This is a permanent problem that require a permanent solution,” said Schmidt-Nielsen. “Thorning-Schmidt should drop the nonsense that is this commission and start negotiations to resolve this problem immediately.”