National Round-Up: Venstre pulls out of benefits shake-up talks

In other news, Naser Khader wins Supreme Court battle

In 2019, the newly-elected Socialdemokratiet government appointed a group of experts, Ydelseskommission, which it charged with overhauling a benefits system that has been described as a “tangled” mess.

Socialdemokratiet eyed a more simple system free of the strict rules introduced by their predecessors in government, which were designed to ensure there was a ceiling on the monthly benefits package available to the unemployed.

So it is no surprise today that Venstre employment spokesperson Hans Andersen has said his party won’t take part in talks to gaining the necessary support for a bill as it cannot support measures that tear the ceiling down and bring an end to the 225-hour rule.

“This is what ensures that it always pays to go to work. We need to hold on to that and not remove it. So it will not be with our support that we remove the cash benefit ceiling,” he said.

Education, residence and employment criteria
Ydelseskommission are recommending a radical shake-up of the benefits system, which would include an overhaul of both the kontanthjælp benefit and child benefit payments. 

Ydelseskommission is recommending a basic monthly kontanthjælp benefit of 6,600 kroner a month.

But through education, residence and employment criteria, the amount can be raised to 10,450 kroner.

Meanwhile, a new child supplement of 3,550 kroner per parent will be paid as well as a leisure supplement of 450 kroner per child.

Simply unmanageable
“The current system is simply unmanageable: it has become unbalanced by budding, and it can be said that in one sense or another we have lost track of what results are being created.,” reasoned Ydelseskommission chair Professor Torben Tranæs.

“It is the simplest benefit structure if you want to regulate what different family types have available depending on the number of children, and will regulate what the benefit should be if there is one more child or adult.”

Today, a married cash benefit recipient receives 6,182 kroner a month. With children, this rises to 8,653 kroner, and in the case of a single parent: 12,364.

Naser Khader wins Supreme Court battle against Sherin Khankan
The Supreme Court has ruled that politician Naser Khader cannot be punished for any of his remarks about female imam Sherin Khankan. It also found that his remarks – for the most part – were based on facts. The unsuccessful lawsuit first failed in the High Court last year and included a number of different allegations. The verdict reminded Khankan that as an imam and public figure, she should be able to take criticism like Khader’s. “You have to be able to withstand a lot of criticism, but this was too much because I think he will take state support from my organisation by making untrue allegations that are not true,” Khankan said.

First Dane to receive compensation for vaccine’s side-effects
A 30-year-old woman from the Capital Region has received compensation after suffering a rare but very serious side-effect after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. Related to work, a few days after her vaccination in January she developed severe headaches that later developed into blood clots in her brain and liver. During hospitalisation, she was diagnosed with Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT). She will receive compensation for sick days: around 5,000 kroner.

Billund unveils world’s largest football made of LEGO bricks
Starting from June 2 until the end of the European Championship football tournament on July 11, LEGO House in Billund will present the world’s largest football built in LEGO bricks. Built by employees during the corona lockdown – including designers, kitchen staff, cleaners and even the CEO – the football weighs 2.5 tonnes and is over 4 metres high. “There is no doubt that the corona times have been really difficult for many,” said the CEO, Jesper Vilstrup. “For me there is nothing better than gathering around a big sporting event.”