New Den­mark gov’t wants to cut high-end tax

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Den­mark’s in­com­ing cen­ter­right gov­ern­ment ran into con­tro­versy Satur­day over its plans to cut tax rates for high earn­ers af­ter it emerged the is­sue had caused the fail­ure of coali­tion talks.

Lars Lokke Ras­mussen, the leader of the Ven­stre party, said Fri­day his party would gov­ern alone af­ter coali­tion talks with the anti-immigration Dan­ish Peo­ple’s Party (DPP) broke down.

On Satur­day, Dan­ish media re­ported that one of the main rea­sons for the fail­ure of the talks was Ras­mussen’s wish to slash taxes on the high­est earn­ers from the cur­rent 15 per­cent to 10 per­cent.

The DPP, which be­came the sec­ond-big­gest po­lit­i­cal force in the June 18 gen­eral elec­tion, said it could not ac­cept the pro­posal af­ter it had cam­paigned for in­creased pen­sions and health care cred­its.

“We are not in­ter­ested in a re­duc­tion in the top level of in­come tax and we will have noth­ing to do with it,” the party’s vice-pres­i­dent Soren Espersen told the online ver­sion of the Poli­tiken news­pa­per.

“We are not sat­is­fied with what is in the gov­ern­ment man­i­festo and there­fore Lars Lokke Ras­mussen is now sail­ing in very choppy wa­ters,” Espersen said.

The out­go­ing so­cial demo­crat fi­nance min­is­ter, Bjarne Co­ry­don, said the gov­ern­ment-to-be was dis­play­ing “wor­ry­ing signs.”

Ras­mussen is due to have an au­di­ence with Queen Mar­grethe II on Sun­day to for­mally be­come prime min­is­ter, suc­ceed­ing Helle Thorn­ing-Sch­midt.

While mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ments are com­mon in Den­mark, a Ven­stre gov­ern­ment would be ex­tremely weak, as it would have just 34 law­mak­ers in the 179-seat par­lia­ment.

In a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion in 1973, a Ven­stre ad­min­is­tra­tion with just 22 seats in par­lia­ment only lasted 14 months be­fore col­laps­ing and giv­ing way to a left-wing gov­ern­ment.

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