Morning Briefing – Monday, October 28

The Copenhagen Post’s daily round-up of the front pages and other major Danish news stories

Poor councils encroaching on Copenhagen
The border between progress and standstill is increasingly being defined as the city limits of Copenhagen. After years in which it was assumed that the capital’s suburbs were better off than provincial councils that had lost their manufacturing base, it now turns out that many areas around the city are just as bad off. Municipal data showed that the demographics of areas such as Copenhagen’s Vestegn area were similar to those in the region that has come to be known as ‘the rotten banana’, a swath of councils stretching from northern Jutland southward and eastward towards Copenhagen. Erik Nielsen (S), the mayor of Rødovre Council, which is located in Vestegnen, said the practise that sees wealthier councils transfer some of their tax revenue to poorer councils was the only viable way to eliminate the gaps. “These differences have historic roots, and we can’t just move people around,” he said. – Jyllands-Posten

SEE RELATED: Pack your bags and move to the city

City cites wrong law in rejecting tax complaint
Copenhagen officials rejected a complaint by a group of homeowners earlier this year over their property tax assessment by citing a law that did not apply to the situation. The homeowners in the Valby district, saw their assessments rise by as much as 32,000 kroner annually, and the city said the increases were due to a law passed by parliament allowing tax increases on properties that previously had been under-assessed. Although the law does exist, according to lawyers for the homeowners, the city made an “embarrassing mistake” by misinterpreting it and incorrectly applying it to the case of the homeowners. Tim Henriksen, a city tax official, said the error was likely a result of the “jumble of information” the council receives. After being told that the deadline for appealing had passed, the homeowners were told that they could appeal, but not until 2016, when a new property tax assessment system is in place. – Politiken

SEE RELATED: Inaccurate property evaluations may have cost homeowners millions

Paid today, there tomorrow (finally)
Starting on November 6, banks will no longer hold onto money being transferred to another bank before releasing it. Currently, banks delay the transfer for up to several days, earning money on the interest in the process. With the change, the transfer will take place on the same day, and by next year transfers will be made within seconds. Implementing the technology that permits the system to work will cost banks as much as 300 million kroner. Businesses and consumer groups cheered the changed practice. – Berlingske Business

SEE RELATED: Intense criticism over planned Danske Bank fee changes

Editorial Excerpt | Underreported mortality rates
A recent news article claimed that the number of hospital deaths was declining due to better performance by medical staff. […] The information, which was based on so-called hospital standardised mortality ratios (HSMR), was hailed as good news by a leading member of Danske Regioner, the lobby group for regional councils. The only problem is that the article was at best built on shaky figures, at worst it was untrue. HSMR data can show that hospital deaths have fallen, but they can’t say why. Experts, in fact, warn against using them to draw any sort of conclusion, and say they shouldn’t be used at all to say anything about quality of care. Maybe even more worrisome is that Danske Regioner itself warns about reading too much into HSMR data. – Mandag Morgen

SEE RELATED: More Danes dying of cancer

Interested in receiving the Morning Briefing delivered to your inbox by 8am each weekday? Sign up for the Morning Briefing or any of our other newsletters today.