Child allowance for wealthy on negotiating table

Renewed debate on how rich is too rich for a family to receive quarterly child support allowance

Denmark’s ongoing financial struggles have members of the coalition government willing to discuss the idea of eliminating quarterly child allowance checks (børnecheck) for the country’s wealthiest citizens.

SF spokesperson Jesper Petersen said that changes should be considered, but declined to say what would be considered ‘rich’ under any new guidelines that may be established. He emphasized that no specific proposal for eliminating the børnecheck has been made, but said that nothing should be considered off limits when the country is facing such difficult economic challenges.

SF has previously suggested that child support be phased out starting with families that have annual incomes of 600,000 kroner and be eliminated all together once a family reaches an annual household income of one million kroner. ??

Although they had previously rejected the idea, members of the Radikale party, a coalition partner, are also ready to discuss whether the wealthiest Danes should continue to receive the child  allowance. Radikale party spokesperson Marianne Jelved agreed with Petersen that nothing should be off the table.

“There is serious pressure on our economy,” said Jelved. “We must set a good example and be willing to break the old taboos and discuss every possibility.”

PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) also expressed an openness to eliminating the child support allowance for the wealthiest families.

“The family allowance issue is a real dilemma that we have started to discuss,” she said while appearing on Sunday eveningÂ’s ‘Clement SøndagÂ’ programme on public broadcaster DR.

Foreign minister Villy Søvndal (SF) was quick to point out that the administration has yet to take an official position and is only looking to examine the idea of cutting support “without bias.”

Konservative party leader Lars Barfoed said his party supports the idea of cutting child support checks to the rich, and the Dansk Folkeparti has also expressed support. Far-left party Enhedslisten disagreed with the notion, arguing instead that the wealthy should continue to receive their child allowance but should be asked to pay more in taxes.

?”It is an old Danish principle that one receives money to meet specific needs,” said the partyÂ’s spokesperson Frank Aaen.

In 2011, Denmark spent 14.7 billion kroner on child support allowances.  All parents with children in the home – regardless of their income level – receive a børnecheck every three months until their children reach the age of 18. The countryÂ’s richest families receive 300 million kroner annually in child benefits.?

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.