Denmark strikes deal on 20,000 kroner summer payouts

Denmark strikes deal on 20,000 kroner summer payouts
Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen (centre) announces the deal with other part leaders on Sunday night. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark's government has struck a deal with opposition and support parties to release three weeks of the so-called 'frozen holiday money', and give out 1,000 kroner tax-free cheques to pensioners and students.
The new “summer package“, will be released as part of an agreement between all parties except the populist Danish People's and New Right Parties, and the libertarian Liberal Alliance, and also contained details of how other financial support packages put in place in March will be phased out. 
Although finance minister Nicolai Wammen said that the money might not be disbursed until as late as October, for technical reasons, he encouraged Danes to start spending now. 
“Danes can feel sure that the money is coming, so if you want to use the money for ice cream, clothes or things for your home, you can do this safe in the knowledge that the money is coming by October,” he said. 
The release of the holiday money will mean a payment of 19,000 kroner before tax for the average worker, the Ekstra Bladet newspaper estimated. 
It will mean a payout of 12,600 after tax with someone earning an annual income of 300,000 kroner before tax, according to Danske Bank. For those earning a million kroner a year, the payment could be as high as 32,400 kroner. 
Troels Lund Poulsen, finance spokesperson for the opposition Liberal Party, welcomed the agreement. 
“We must get started domestic consumption going again. That is why we are pleased to note that three of the holiday weeks are now being paid out,” he said. 
The 100bn kroner in 'frozen holiday money' was created last year when Denmark switched to a new system of holiday pay.
Under the old scheme, workers built up the allowance over a year and could only take it after the following May. Under the new one, they earn 2.08 days of holiday a month, which can be used immediately. To avoid double payment, the money built up the previous year was put into a fund which Danes were to have access to on retirement. 
Releasing three weeks of money will mean a total payout of 60bn kroner. The government said it planned to discuss whether to release the final 40bn with other parties after the summer. 
As part of the deal, the government also announced a long list of changes and extensions of existing financial support schemes for companies. 
Among these was an agreement to phase out the support scheme for the self-employed and freelancers by August 8th. 

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