Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

Danish government cuts transfer incomes for new immigrants

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

By Michael de Laine, Copenhagen, 3rd July 2015

The new Venstre minority government today tabled a bill introducing new rules for transfer incomes to newly arrived immigrants with the aim of making it less attractive for immigrants to come to Denmark, and more attractive for them to work and contribute to Danish society. Further restrictions are expected.

Inger Støjberg, the minister for immigration, integration and housing in the new Venstre (Liberals) minority government, has agreed with the Danish People’s party, Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives to introduce new rules for transfer incomes to people who have not resided in Denmark for at least seven of the past eight years.

The actual target group is defined as “newly arrived foreigners and Danes who have not resided in Denmark for at least seven of the past eight years and who cannot be accorded the status of migrant workers or self-employed people under EU legislation”.

The new rules, to take effect on 1st September 2015, aim at making it less attractive for immigrants to come to Denmark, and more attractive for those already in Denmark to work and contribute to Danish society.

The level of the so-called integration transfer income to immigrants will be cut to match the transfer income given to university students.

In addition, the principle that refugees must earn the right to child benefits will be re-introduced (it was abolished by the previous government), and the current special rules for refugees to acquire pension rights will be abolished.

As examples, the ministry says that a single person without children will in future receive an integration transfer income of DKK 5,945 a month before tax, compared with DKK 10,849 today, while a couple over 30 years old, with children, will receive DKK 16,638 in integration transfer income a month before tax, compared with DKK 28,832 today.

Immigrants proving their wish to integrate into Danish society by passing an examination in Danish can receive DKK 1,500 a month in addition to the integration transfer income.

“We must tighten our regime and get the flow of asylum-seekers to Denmark under control,” Støjberg said. The bill “will give a pronounced tightening of the conditions for foreigners wanting to come to Denmark. This is the first in a series of restrictions that the government will introduce to get the area of aliens under control again.”

Liberals’ Løkke Rasmussen forms small minority government, publishes work plan

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

By Michael de Laine, Copenhagen, 30th June 2015

Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the leader of Venstre, the Danish liberals, has formed a small minority government of 17 ministers, who took office yesterday. The government has published its work plan and used its first day in office to reinstate a tax credit scheme for homeowners making improvements or getting maintenance and gardening work carried out.

Following several days of negotiations with other parties, mainly with the Danish People’s Party, the Conservatives and the Liberal Alliance (the other three parties in the blue bloc on the right), after the parliamentary election on 18th June, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the leader of Venstre, the Danish liberals, has formed a small minority government of 17 ministers, who took office yesterday.

With just 34 seats out of the 179 in Folketinget, the Danish parliament, Løkke Rasmussen and his party must negotiate with other parties to find a majority position in most legislative areas – aptly illustrated yesterday afternoon, when Claus Hjort Frederiksen, the new minister of finance, announced that Venstre, the Danish People’s Party (DPP) and the Conservatives, on the right wing, had agreed with the Socialist People’s Party (SF), on the left wing, and the centre-left party the Alternative to reinstate a tax credit scheme, killed off by the now deposed Social Democratic-Social Liberal coalition government from 1st January 2015, for homeowners making improvements or getting maintenance and gardening work carried out. The scheme will be changed later this year, however, so it has a greener profile in the future and will also apply to people who rent their accommodation, pleasing SF and the Alternative.

Parliament will be recalled this week for a brief session when the new government will also table a bill with measures – predominantly financial – to make Denmark a less attractive target for asylum-seekers and refugees. The aim is to reduce the number of people coming to Denmark for asylum.

Something that DPP and the parties in the blue bloc agree on, this will be accompanied at some time by a ‘pronounced strengthening of the control at the borders’ in order to fight crime and illegal immigration, another political requirement from DPP that forms part of the new government’s work plan.

The government also plans to reduce income taxes, to make it more attractive for people to work, and it will not increase other taxes. It will introduce a cap on certain transfer incomes to the unemployed, measures to encourage people not currently saving in a non-state pensions scheme, and measures to speed up diagnosis and initial treatment of illnesses.

A referendum on the Danish opt-out on justice and home affairs in the European Union, planned by the previous government, will be bought forward and will be held before Christmas 2015.

A commission currently looking into the background for Denmark’s participation (under Venstre’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen in 2003) in the USA-led military invasion of Iraq, and the behaviour of Danish troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be disbanded. They money saved will be earmarked for improvements to the conditions of Danish veterans.

The government will also appoint ‘an experienced, respected person with international views’ to find strategic ways of coordinating Denmark’s policies in security and defence, foreign affairs, trade and development aid.

Danish development aid will be cut to 0.7% of gross national income from 0.85%, and the number of countries to receive the aid will be reduced.

Click here for the list of ministers (in Danish) in the new government.