Over 150,000 welfare recipients in Denmark informed about cutbacks – The Post

Over 150,000 welfare recipients in Denmark informed about cutbacks

Nearly one third received an electronic letter with mistakes

Many Danish families will receive less financial support from October 1 (photo: iStock)
September 12th, 2016 2:27 pm| by Lucie Rychla

About 158,000 recipients of welfare support (kontanthjælp and integration benefits) in Denmark have been informed about the maximum amount of money they can expect to receive after October 1.

In March, the blue bloc parties adopted a new legislation that sets new limits on cash benefits.

While kontanthjælp as such will not be reduced, beneficiaries will get less on other types of welfare support, such as housing assistance.

The Employment Ministry estimates that only about 22,800 people will be affected negatively.

READ MORE: Pilot scheme gives Danish welfare recipients the right to earn alongside benefits

Flocking to the countryside
Leif Lahn Jensen, the employment spokesman for Socialdemokraterne, fears that poor families will be forced to move out from large cities to seek more affordable housing in rural areas, where they will have more difficulties finding a job.

However, Hans Andersen, the employment spokesman for Liberal Alliance, rejects the argument:

“The new cash ceiling ensures that there is a substantial financial gain in getting a job,” Andersen told Jyllands-Posten.

“At the moment most job opportunities are in large cities, so they [the welfare recipients] have a better chance at getting a job if they stay there, and I imagine most of them will.”

READ MORE: Danish government announces reform of benefits: It should pay to work

Technical error
Meanwhile, 43,000 of all the electronic letters that were sent out this morning contained errors, reports Avisen.dk.

Thousands stated a wrong municipality as the sender, while others were placed in the wrong daily rate bracket.

We have found that letters sent to citizens of Jutland and Funen contained errors in the sender field,” Christoffer Hellmann, the communications director at the software company KMD, told Avisen.dk.

“For instance, all letters sent out on Funen had the Odense Municipality as the sender.”

KMD regrets the inconvenience caused by a technical error and assures new electronic letters with the correct information will be sent out soon.