Election Round-Up: Socialdemokratiet unrepentant about heating pool bureaucracy

DR has highlighted some of the ways the annual 100 million kroner heating pool is being spent – and it does not make for pleasant reading heading into the election. 

The municipalities, claims the report, have only applied for 1.1 million kroner to help their residents with bills received between 1 October 2021 and 30 April 2022. 

In total, just 22 municipalities have requested the financial support.

Nevertheless, another 100 million has been put aside for the following year. 

Two-thirds of the handout reserved for the accountant
One particular payment is ruffling feathers. A resident in Allerød Municipality requested help with paying an energy bill of 2,500 kroner, but as part of the application, an audit of the claim was required, for which the accountant charged 5,000 kroner. 

In order to request help, it must be demonstrated that the claimant does not have savings or expenses deemed as non-vital, such as certain types of insurance.

In one case in Faaborg, a welfare benefits recipient with three children, whose partner is an apprentice, requested help after their quarterly gas bill tripled to 10,893 kroner and electricity bill doubled. However, they were turned down because they have accident insurance, children’s insurance and pet insurance.

The employment minister, Peter Hummelgaard, contends it is “good management of the state’s money that you demand that it be audited, so that we are sure that it has been used for the right purpose”.

Liberal Alliance would not support Mette as PM
Liberal Alliance leader Alex Vanoplasgh has ruled out supporting Mette Frederiksen as PM should the option arise, but said his party would be able to support Lars Løkke Rasmussen. Given LA’s resurgence, speculation has been mounting that it could help Socialdemokratiet and Moderates form a majority without any of the other Blue Bloc parties. Together, with seven days of the campaign left and all three parties picking up support, they would command 41.1 percent of the vote. Venstre (Rasmussen’s preferred Blue Bloc bedfellow) or SF (another scenario being entertained) would give them the required 50 percent. Speaking at Riskov Gymnasium, Vanoplasgh revealed that his party “does not trust” Frederiksen. 

Candidate’s fears: Too many academics in Parliament
Thomas Monberg, a janitor by profession who is a candidate for Socialdemokratiet, has voiced concerns about the small percentage of candidates who are not graduates. Only 26 percent finished their education by completing public school, gymnasium or a vocational study, he pointed out, compared to 63 percent of the general public. “If Parliament’s experience is too academic, it doesn’t know how things work in reality,” he told TV2.

Rise in the number of women candidates
Some 38.4 percent of the candidates in the 2022 General Election will be women, according to Danmarks Statistik – 389 in total. Normally the share fluctuates between 27 and 34 percent. In total, 1,014 candidates are in the running – the highest number since 1998. Some 99 are members of Konservative.

Fewer postal votes compared to 2019
There have been fewer postal votes so far, compared to the last election in 2019. As of October 22, just 16,278 postal votes had been received – 2,821 fewer than in 2019. Meanwhile, in Aarhus, there had been 8,331 postal votes – down 2,574 on 2019.

Tabloid apologies to Pape over holiday claim
Ekstra Bladet has apologised to Søren Pape Poulsen after claiming he travelled to the Dominican Republic last year in violation of the COVID-19 restrictions. It has since acknowledged that Poulsen, as somebody who was fully vaccinated, was permitted to travel.

Reality TV star in the running
Katrine Daugaard, the leading Liberal Alliance candidate on Funen, has a decorated career in reality TV behind her – plus a history of debt. Not only did she take part in the Danish Eurovision qualifier in 2001, finishing fifth with the song ‘Sha la li sha la lej’, but in 2015 she participated in the TV3 program ‘Luksusfælden’, which focused on people with debt problems. “I am a strong, liberal example of how by getting yourself together and changing what doesn’t work, you can turn your situation around,” she told TV2.