Both electricity and petrol have gone up significantly in price, making everyday living costs in Denmark notably higher.
Minister for Climate and Energy Dan Jørgensen invited representatives from other parties to initial talks on Tuesday about the high energy prices prior to negotiations over potential measures, broadcaster DR reported.
The government takes the issue “very seriously”, the minister previously told DR in a written statement, but no specific plan for a response has yet been outlined.
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So far, 100 million kroner have been earmarked in this year’s budget for municipalities to use to give subsidies to low-income persons receiving social welfare benefits and people who receive the state pension. The fund is a top-up to an existing scheme.
Talks in parliament over the present situation will revolve around whether additional money should be spent helping people who now find themselves facing huge energy bills.
The negotiations are likely to revolve around the nature of any measures and how much should be spent, according to DR.
The Conservative and Danish People’s Parties want 2.7 billion kroner to be spent on people who are hardest-hit by the high prices. That figure comes from a saving the government has made on subsidies to the sustainable energy industry, which are not due because of the revenues the industry is seeing because of the prices. A degree of uncertainty can be attached to the 2.7 billion figure, which is a calculation.
The Liberal Alliance party wants to cut energy taxes, including a reduction to electricity tax to bring it down to the minimum set by the EU, DR writes.
The Liberal (Venstre) party, the largest party in opposition, said on Tuesday it was vital that a response to the situation in some form was agreed upon.
“There are different models for a solution, but what is crucial must be to make bills cheaper,” Liberal climate and energy spokesperson Marie Bjerre told news wire Ritzau.
The Liberals are also in favour of a tax reduction for electricity, Ritzau writes.
On the left wing, the Red Green Alliance and Socialist People’s Party say they want more government spending on energy subsidies.
The latter party said it did not support cutting taxes, with spokesperson Signe Munk telling Ritzau that energy tax reforms “should be looked in an overall political negotiation which both takes into account the long-term effects and supports CO2 reduction”.
“What we have right now is an extraordinary increase in prices,” Munk said.
The centre-left Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party appeared sceptical about the redeployment of funding from other areas of government spending on energy.
“It is like buying an iron for 200 kroner with a 500 kroner saving and saying you now have 500 kroner,” the party’s energy spokesperson Rasmus Helveg Petersen told newspaper Berlingske in reference to the discussion of using savings from the unused sustainable energy subsidies.
The governing Social Democrats so far remain the only party not to have made its position clear on how to respond to the energy price crisis.