The finance minister, Nicolaj Wammen, has presented his first proposal for the 2020 budget law and the reception has been remarkably … well, unremarkable.
All quiet on the reddish front
The Red-Bloc support parties have been wise enough to avoid ultimate demands, perhaps in response to the previous government’s self-inflicted wounds, which were caused when Anders Samuelsen, the former head of Liberal Alliance party, demanded tax cuts … or else. It seems like everyone has learned from that lesson.
Instead it’s been smooth sailing with advice and not threats being offered up – although a considerable amount of the 2.5 billion kroner budget is to be negotiated in co-operation with the supporting parties.
Taxes won’t be reduced but rather increased to prepare for CO2 reduction initiatives.
Where’s the opposition?
The opposition is not visible at all. Venstre is digesting new leadership and keeping a low profile – only Konservative might attempt to improve its position by trying to get on the bandwagon and support the bill.
All in all, it is expected to land in shallow waters and when PM Mette Frederiksen begins work towards a differentiated pension reform, that’s when things will really get exciting. She won the election on this platform, but can she deliver?
It looks like mission impossible as she might please a few, but will surely disappoint the majority.
On top of that, the government’s climate ambition will need to be translated into legislation. Are the farmers in the spotlight for their massive reductions of farmland and fertiliser use? They will not go down without a fight and could be the Venstre’s best chance of resurrection.
Foreign fighter fracas
As budget negotiations persist, a new law proposal seeks to introduce a procedure for stripping dual citizenship foreign fighters of their Danish passports. Debate centres not specifically on the material issue, but rather whether it should be in the hands of the government or the courts.
The present proposal includes a paragraph that would give courts influence after the citizenship has been stripped, but only if demanded by the individual.
But if those individuals are locked away in some prison camp in Syria, it’s unlikely that they will be informed about the decision and how to react to it. It looks to be just another austerity measure against humanity.
Crackle of contention
The stripping of citizenship means that Denmark will no longer be forced to accept these individuals if they turn up at the border again, and we no longer have diplomatic responsibility if they are detained somewhere.
Fortunately, strong personalities have begun voicing protests
We will see.