2012 budget approved
After weeks of bickering between Socialdemokraterne and Venstre, Denmark’s 2012 budget was approved today by a vote of 109 to 5.
The agreement asks for five billion kroner in taxes and other fees and calls for accelerated investments of around 11 billion kroner in 2012 and eight billion kroner in 2013. The government says these investments will help “kickstart” the economy.
Daycare centers around the country will get 1,500 more employees and the benefit ceiling, ‘start help’ and the so-called 450-hour rule, where an individual must work 450 hours between periods of receiving cash welfare benefits, will be abolished.
Venstre had threatened to vote against the plan until it became clear that support from Enhedslisten gave PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt the votes she needed to get her first budget passed.
Enhedslisten’s support hinged on the budget including five weeks of holiday for those receiving social help, as well as giving the unemployed more opportunities for retraining and education rather than being forced back into the labour market.
The government first introduced the budget in November and says that it will help guide Denmark through the current economic crisis.
Margrethe Vestager (Radikale), the minister for the economy and the interior, tweeted from the chamber after the vote: “The budget is adopted. Good. It’s a good one.”
Five members of the Liberal Alliance voted against the budget.