52 Danish politicians to get bumper pension after election failure

52 Danish politicians to get bumper pension after election failure
The Liberal Alliance party saw its number of seats cut by nine at last week's election. Photo: Philip Davali / Ritzau Scanpix
52 members of the Danish parliament were not re-elected in last week’s general election, but can look forward to a generous allowance as they seek pastures new.

A total of 70 million kroner will ensure the ex-MPs will not be empty-handed over the next two years via the so-called eftervederlag, a form of post-employment allowance.

The figure comes from a review by media Fagbladet 3F of payments to members of parliament who were not reelected or left the legislature for other reasons during the last election cycle.

The 52 former MPs will receive a monthly payment of 56,494 kroner for the next two years – amounting to 1.35 million kroner per person over the period.

“I don’t think there’s any other place on the labour market with comparably favourable conditions,” Roger Buch, a researcher at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, told Ritzau.

“I think it would be reasonable to discuss whether politicians should get conditions so much better than those of the public,” he added.

If the politicians find new jobs during the two-year period in which they receive the allowance, the new salary is deducted from the allowance.

But whether those deductions are implemented in practice is questionable, according to Buch.

“As far as I’m aware, there are no checks on this. It’s up to individual politicians to give notice if they get another job,” he said to Ritzau.

“This is interesting to compare with other systems of checks in society. If you receive social welfare payments, there are many systems which monitor whether you have gained employment,” he added.

The 2019 general election saw a large swing in seats, resulting in a relatively high number of politicians failing to achieve re-election, including high profile figures from Liberal Alliance and the Danish People’s Party.

Anders Samuelsen, as a former minister and leader of Liberal Alliance, will receive a special allowance for ex-ministers for 18 months after losing his seat, according to Ritzau’s report.

That means Samuelsen stands to earn up to 2.3 million kroner from the Danish state through allowances over the next two years, the news agency writes.

Liberal Alliance told Fagbladet 3F the party did not wish to comment on the allowances.

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