Today’s headlines – Monday, Dec 17

Few to benefit from cheaper public transport
From January 20, it will become up to 20 percent cheaper to use local public transport outside rush hour. But public transport experts say few will benefit from the lower fares, which apply only to those who use the heavily criticised Rejsekort electronic travel card outside of rush hour. The change would see the price of a two-zone trip between before 7am, between 11am and 1pm, and again after 6pm on weekdays, and all day during weekends and holidays, excluding most work commuters from the discount. The transport minister, Henrik Dam Kristensen (Socialdemokraterne), agreed that the lower fares would help mostly students, pensioners and the unemployed who have the option of travelling outside rush hour, as well as to promote public transport use during off-hours. – MetroXpress

Longer wait for heart condition diagnosis
The length of time that people need to wait to see a cardiologist is on the rise, particularly in the Zealand, North Jutland and Mid-Jutland healthcare regions. Despite promises by PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt that people would receive a diagnosis about a potential heart condition within 30 days of being referred to a specialist, waiting times in North Jutland rose from 16 weeks in 2011 to 28 weeks in 2012, while in Zealand waiting times have increased from ten weeks in 2011 to 29 weeks in 2012. Waiting half a year to receive a preliminary examination can cost lives, according to heart association Hjerteforeningen, which said the waiting times were due to a back-log of cases. – Jyllands-Posten

EU concern over lack of electricity competition
The EU will be looking into whether a law passed earlier this month by parliament limits competition by requiring power companies themselves to inform their customers that they have the right to switch to another utility. The notification must also state that if customers make no decision, their power service will continue unchanged, and it is feared this will lead to few people deciding to change utilities. The EU will look into the legislation because it is worried that the lack of competition could lead to artificially high prices. Today, less than 10 percent of Danes actively chose their own power company. – Berlingske

Pensioners will pay for elderly boom
Even with the rising number of pensioners, a new requirement that people pay tax on their pension payments means they will be shouldering much of the burden for the increased cost of providing senior services, according to a long-range forceast by insurance and pension industry lobbying group Forsikring & Pension. In addition, private consumption among the elderly is also expected to be higher than it is today, adding additional tax kroner to state coffers. By 2050, Forsikring & Pension estimates that the number of pensioners will increase to one million, from 850,000 today. The rise will mean an additional 33 billion kroner in expenses to elder services, but the increased tax revenue is expected to amount to 30 billion kroner. – Politiken

Overcast with the chance of showers. High temperatures around 4 C Overnight lows falling to 1 C. – DMI