2015 budget agreement in place

Funds being dispersed to refugees, social benefits, elderly, social dumping, housing and health sector

The government and its coalition support parties Socialistisk Folkeparti and Enhedslisten have revealed the 2015 budget agreement today at the Finance Ministry.

Here are the main points of the agreement:

Development aid and asylum expenses
The financing of the spike in asylum-seekers arriving to Denmark is in place. Some 2.5 billion kroner has been set aside to fund the increase of asylum-seekers for next year.

One billion kroner of the 2.5 billion will be found by cutting into the development aid package, while the remaining billion kroner will come from the EU funds that Denmark will be given for paying too much in EU quotas (700 million kroner) and from other reserves in the budget (300 million kroner).

READ MORE: Aid restructured in wake of asylum crisis

Health sector
A new health package has been negotiated that will make an additional 600 million kroner available for increased personnel at maternity wards at hospitals, while reducing the number of overcrowded hospital hallways. In total, the government has earmarked 6.5 billion kroner to the health arena over the next four years.

The government has already launched a plan that will make more funds available for the treatment of cancer and chronic illnesses, general practitioners and better relative/next of kin involvement.

One billion kroner have been set aside to hire an expected 600 more pedagogues at the nation's kindergartens and nurseries.

Voucher cards for the elderly
As part of its overall 1.6 billion kroner welfare package, the government has agreed to a new homecare voucher card for the elderly. The elderly will be given 30 minutes extra care at home during the week that the elderly themselves can decide what is spent on.

Some 75 million kroner has been set aside for the voucher card initiative in 2015, and 150 million kroner per year for the years following 2015.

The nation's councils will be given an additional 250 million kroner for their work involving the increasing numbers of refugees coming to Denmark.

Over the next three years, 75 million kroner has been set aside to help students with challenges better fit in at public schools across Denmark. The funds will ensure that more special education teachers can take part in the lessons and can provide vocational insight to other teachers.

Nature and climate
An additional billion kroner has been earmarked for more nature, ecology and climate initiatives over the next few years.

The government's climate efforts will be further strengthened by 450 million kroner over the next four years. The funds will go to new technologies in energy production and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

READ MORE: Denmark on its way to fulfilling climate goals

Cash benefits and mutual dependency
The government has agreed to a cash benefits plan worth just under a billion kroner that will for the next three years support people who are unable to secure unemployment benefits (dagpenge or kontanthjælp).

Another central point is the axing of the mutual dependency responsibility involving kontanthjælp, which was introduced in January this year and which meant that unmarried couples living together had to support one another should one lose their jobs.

Light rail in Aalborg
The agreement includes 830 million kroner being set aside for the establishment of a new light rail in Aalborg. Construction will commence next year and is scheduled to be completed in 2021. It will run between Aalborg Vestby and the new university hospital in Aalborg East.

Social dumping
Some 120 million kroner have been set aside to tackle social dumping over the next four years. The funds will allow the tax authorities SKAT, the police, and labour inspectors, Arbejdstilsynet, to make twice as many joint inspections as they did this year.

READ MORE: Budget agreement secures affordable housing in cities

The social housing law will be amended so that thousands of new homes being built in the nation's cities will be affordable for the average citizen.

The law change means that in future the council can demand that every fourth home in new apartment buildings being built on waterfronts or in new developing city districts in the largest cities is public housing.

Here is the entire agreement (in Danish)

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