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Cut foreigners' dental treatment, study grants and bus passes: DF

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Cut foreigners' dental treatment, study grants and bus passes: DF
Danish People's Party Finance Spokesperson René Christensen. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe /Scanpix
11:47 CEST+02:00
Denmark's populist Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti, DF) is calling for new requirements to be placed on a range welfare support payments available to foreign citizens.

The party want to make it more difficult for foreign citizens to be entitled to the state student grant (Statens Uddannelsesstøtte, SU) and a number of other forms of welfare support.

The party will make its demands during upcoming negotiations to ratify the government's new budget, reports broadcaster DR.

Subsidies on living expenses such as dental treatment, bus passes and rent will be targeted as DF seeks to implement stricter requirements for foreign residents.

“It should not be possible to receive SU unless you have lived here for seven of the last eight years,” DF's finance spokesperson René Christensen told DR.

Several requirements must already be fulfilled for foreign residents to qualify for the Danish state student grant.

EU rules sate that citizens who work for 10-12 hours per week, have worked in Denmark prior to commencing their studies, or have already lived in the country for at least five years can qualify for the grant, according to regulations published on the SU website.

Non-EU citizens can receive SU under Danish law if they are married to a Danish citizen, have lived in the country for over five years, moved to the country with their parents, work while studying, are covered by integration laws or are part of the Danish minority population in northern Germany.

A rule known as the ‘social law' (socialloven) that provides citizens with subsidies for a number of costs, including dental care, will also be looked at by the party.

“[The potential changes will affect] people who have only been in Denmark for a very short time. That means refugees, immigrants and Europeans,” Christensen said.

“We have a lot of non-Danish homeless people or refugee immigrants. Many of them are Europeans, who come up here and have access to our welfare. We would like to stop this,” he told DR.

Christensen also said that the party would prefer any new measures to affect foreign citizens only.

But any new laws involving accrual requirements could potentially also affect Danes returning to the country after living abroad for a number of years.

EU human rights rules would make this impossible to avoid, according to DF's own assessment.

READ ALSO: Foreigners can help to pay for tax reform: Danish finance minister

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