Opposition calls for government to ditch Enhedslisten

Denmark cannot afford more budget deals with Enhedslisten, opposition leaders argue

Denmark's four opposition parties have called for the Socialdemokraterne-led government to break ties with the far-left Enhedslisten (EL) and to instead collaborate with the opposition on next year’s budget.


“Ditch Enhedslisten and make deals with us instead,” the opposition leaders – former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Venstre), Kristian Thulesen Dahl (Dansk Folkeparti), Anders Samuelsen (Liberal Alliance) and Lars Barfoed (Konservative) – wrote in a joint op-ed in Berlingske newspaper.


Although representing four different parties, they all agreed that the government’s negotiations with EL have been too costly for the Danish economy.


“The administration needs to take a side – either they will work with the right-wing parties to make a budget that will create jobs, or they will work with Enhedslisten, which wants Danes to pay higher taxes,” Rasmussen told Ekstra Bladet tabloid.


READ MORE: It’s a “boring” budget, but someone’s got to talk about it


Create more jobs in the private sector

The party leaders argue that creating jobs in private businesses is necessary to maintain the social welfare system.


In the op-ed, they listed four points that they considered essential in order to boost the national economy.


Firstly, they want to create jobs by cutting taxes on private businesses. In total, they are calling for tax relief to the tune of 900 million kroner. Secondly, they want to encourage the unemployed to get back to work by making a maximum limit on social benefits. Thirdly, they want more young people to go to technical schools, in order to maintain a high educational level among production workers. Lastly, they call for a "more realistic approach" to the regulation of the business community. The opposition leaders argue that too many taxes and fees on private businesses diminishes Denmark's competitiveness with its neighbouring countries.


Needs support from EL

Difficulties over the government's reform of welfare benefits earlier this year had EL threatening to pull out from a deal, taking away the government's majority and thereby forcing a new election to be called.


Those circumstances make it difficult for the government to meet the opposition's demand to hammer out a budget deal without EL's seal of approval.


“For the last two years, the government and Enhedslisten have not been able to make one single agreement that strengthens our competitive position," the right wing party leaders concluded in their op-ed. "On the contrary, every time the government has negotiated with Enhedslisten, it has become more expensive to be Danish.”