Opposition hesitant to reveal details of economic plan

Venstre criticised from all angles for refusing to detail how tax cuts could be afforded

March 26th, 2012 3:31 pm| by admin

Opposition party Venstre (V) is under pressure to reveal how they would afford tax breaks that its leader, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, recently said Danes ought to be granted.

The party maintains that financing for the tax breaks would be covered in the party’s economic plan for 2020 but V remains hesitant to reveal the details – although that has not stopped them from demanding the same of the government.

“It is paradoxical that they are so focused on having the government release a 2020 plan while also not releasing their own 2020 plan,” Bjarne Corydon (Socialdemokraterne), the finance minister, told Politiken.

Criticism of V – currently Denmark’s largest political party with support of over 30 percent of Danes according to most polls – is also coming from the other end of the political spectrum.

“What Venstre is up to is pure populism,” Ole Birk Olesen, Liberal Alliance's (LA) tax spokesperson, told Politiken. “They say they want to give tax cuts but won’t reveal how they intend to finance it. Liberal Alliance is happy there are other parties considering tax cuts for Danes. But they need to say how they plan on financing them.”

The demands for V to reveal the financing for tax cuts comes after Rasmussen announced at a party conference recently that the tax burden on Danes should be reduced. But last April, while leading the coalition government with Konservativer, they announced that tax cuts were unaffordable.

Peter Christiansen, V's financial spokesperson, explained to Politiken that the consequences of the continuing financial crisis need to be better understood before they publish their figures.

LA’s leader Anders Samuelsen has already made calls for Venstre to “enter the fray” and become more active both in their criticism of the Socialdemokrat-led government, but also in proposing their own solutions to Denmark’s problems.

This week, however, LA has gone on the offensive, taking out full page adverts in major newspapers accusing V of breaking election promises.

The accusations stem from V’s support of the government’s green energy plan designed to move Denmark toward sustainable energy sources at an extra cost of 1,300 kroner a year per household.

“Lars Løkke went into the election stating that it shouldn’t become more expensive to be a Dane,” LA leader Anders Samuelsen writes in the advert. “They haven’t kept that promise. Venstre added their votes to an energy proposal that will make it more expensive to be a Dane and make it even harder for businesses to be competitive.”

Løkke responded on Facebook by writing that support for the energy plan was not a broken promise, as V had already before the election proposed an energy package for 3.6 billion kroner.

“We have made a deal with the government that costs 3.5 billion kroner. That is more than two billion kroner less than the plan the government could have pushed through with its majority with Enhedslisten,” Ramussen wrote.

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