PM’s policies financially sound, say economists

The head of a left-leaning government, Thorning-Schmidt judged more economically responsible than her right-of-centre predecessor

December 28th, 2012 6:23 am| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s (Socialdemokraterne) economic policies such as cutting early retirement pensions and unemployment benefits have angered her party’s traditionally left-leaning voter base but earned her high praise from economists.

Nine out of ten economists surveyed believe that Thorning-Schmidt is at least as economically responsible as former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen and his centre-right government.

The results cast doubt on the conventional wisdom that governments to the right have a better handle on the economy than do those with left-of-centre leadership.

Jes Asmussen, an economist at Handelsbanken, said that policies carried out during Rasmussen’s tenure actually damaged the economy.

“They did not engage in sustainable reforms,” Asmussen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “They overheated the housing market and the economy in general.”

Mads Lundby Hansen, chief economist at the libertarian think tank Cepos, said the reforms put in place by Ramussen’s government were a case of too little, too late.

“There were a wide range of great reforms, including early retirement and benefit reform, but they should have come before the crisis hit,” he told Jyllands-Posten.

Hansen had high praise for what he saw as Thorning-Schmidt’s continuation of Rasmussen’s tight-fisted policies.

The prime minister’s embracement of financial austerity has strained her relationship with some traditional allies.

The nation’s labour unions, usually staunch Socialdemokraterne supporters, are shaking their collective heads over policies that they say offer no hope for the unemployed.

“I am not sure what planet the prime minister is living on,” 3F union president Poul Erik Christensen told Jyllands-Posten.

(All photos: Ella Navarro)
Out and About: Connecting Copenhageners, both internationals and Danes
  Last week on Thursday saw the inauguration of Absalon’s ‘folk...
The younger you are, the higher you aspire? (photo:istock)
Young people’s choice: the corporate ladder or the startup trampoline
  Young people are overrepresented among entrepreneurs, but is this...
Do you have what it takes to guess Brian's quiz? (photo: istock)
Brian’s Brainteaser
  How to win Identify what the clues in each circle have in common...
Looks like this autumn might be more daring that the last one (photo: istock)
Fashion Jam: Looking forward to the autumn trends
  I can’t believe a year has gone by since my first column. Just ...
(photo: Sting Nygaard)
Early September Art: Discovering treasures in the skyline
Art is more than paintings on the wall and sculptures in the park. We are s...
Party included 35,000 drinking glasses (photo:istock)
Today’s Date: Christian IV’s coronation
  On this day in 1596, King Christian IV was crowned king of Denmar...