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Denmark's budget aids elderly and car buyers

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Denmark's budget aids elderly and car buyers
Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen (centre) presented the new budget on Thursday. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix
16:28 CET+01:00
The Venstre government landed its first budget agreement on Thursday, with new large investments in healthcare and cuts to education, development aid and environmental initiatives.
Venstre, the Danish People's Party, Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives reached an agreement on the 2016 budget on Thursday. 
 
The Finance Ministry hailed the budget as a “a new direction for Denmark with clear priorities: strengthened core welfare, a safer Denmark, better conditions for running a business and an easier daily life for families and home owners”. 
 
Among the highlights of the budget is a 2.4 billion kroner investment in the health sector, with much of it aimed at the elderly. 
 
Car buyers were also given good news in the form of Denmark's 180 percent vehicle registration tax being dropped down to 150 percent. 
 
“For a medium-sized family car, the rate reduction means that some 10,000 - 20,000 kroner less will be paid for the registration levy,” the agreement reads. 
 
The budget agreement also sees the government follow through on its previously-announced plans to cut spending on environmental projects, lower its development spending and decrease spending on education
 
The University of Copenhagen slammed the education cuts, saying they would amount to an eight percent decrease in the university's budget and result in the elimination of “several hundred jobs”.
 
“This budget gives less education and research. At the end of the day, it will affect Denmark's ability to compete internationally,” university rector Ralf Hemmingsen said. 
 
The Finance Ministry's selected highlights of the budget agreement include:
 
  • A “firm” immigration policy that will put more people on the so-called “integration benefit”
  • 300 million kroner contribution to the EU's joint efforts to deal with the refugee crisis
  • Reduction of the vehicle registration levy from 180 percent to 150 percent on personal cars and motorcycles
  • Health sector investments totaling 2.4 billion kroner. Specific initiatives will include faster diagnosis and treatment for people with dementia and elderly patients, as well as improved maternity care
  •  One billion kroner per year for eldercare initiatives at the municipal level. 
  • Increased subsidies for private schools
  • 1.9 billion kroner for more police officers through 2019
  • Nominal freeze on property tax in 2016
  • A new upper limit to the unemployment benefit known as kontanthjælp
  • Reduction of the NOx tax
  • Cancellation of the advertising tax
  • Better conditions for generational changes within family businesses  
  • 75 million kroner annually for food and agriculture initiatives 
  • A lessening of environmental restrictions on agricultural nitrogen use
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