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Denmark eyes cash bonuses for the jobless

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Denmark eyes cash bonuses for the jobless
The proposal was presented by Bjarne Corydon (L) and Morten Østergaard (R). Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix
07:57 CEST+02:00
The Danish government wants to entice the long-time unemployed back into the workplace with cold hard cash.
Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon and Economy Minister Morten Østergaard presented a plan on Sunday that would give the long-time unemployed a monthly bonus of 1,500 kroner ($225, 200 euro) if they get a job. 
 
If the government can garner support for their plan, the temporary bonuses would begin in July and last through the end of 2015. 
 
The bonus plan, aimed at the 110,000 long-time unemployed Danes, was presented as the last of the government’s 50-point growth plan. 
 
“This is a tax-free bonus that will be paid out quarterly in the hope that some of those who have been away from the job market the longest will come back now that there is job creation in Denmark,” Østergaard said at a Sunday press conference. 
 
To be eligible for the bonus, which could pay out a maximum of 9,000 kroner tax-free, one must have received welfare benefits such as kontanthjælp for at least one year.
 
The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) called the government’s plan “sympathetic and smart”.
 
“With the implementation of a cash bonus of 1,500 kroner per month for the second half of 2015, the government is making it even more attractive for kontanthjælp recipients to find a job,” chairman Harald Børsting said in a press statement. 
 
According to Politiken, the government has budgeted 82 million kroner for the bonuses, which means they expect less than 15,000 of the 110,000 long-time unemployed residents to get a job and qualify for the bonus. 
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