The Danish government wants to pay out a one-off, tax-free sum to families particularly hard hit by energy price rises this winter, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported on Thursday.
Both individually gas heated homes and houses on district heating systems could be offered cash under the political initiative.
“We propose that we put together a heating cheque for Danes who are hardest hit – specifically, that means people who have individual gas heating or live in district heating areas where the district heating supply relies on gas,” the minister for climate, energy and critical supplies, Dan Jørgensen, told Jyllands-Posten.
Political talks are ongoing over how to tackle the very high current cost of energy for households and businesses.
Heating bills could increase by as much as 30,000 kroner this year for some homes with individual gas heating, depending on supplier, Jyllands Posten writes. For houses on district heating systems, the worst-hit homes could see bills go up by as much as 200 percent.
Jørgensen told the newspaper that the “hardest hit” people who would be the target of the government relief total “around 400,000 people in the first category and around 40,000 people in the second category”.
“We propose a tax-free cheque as help to get through a difficult time,” the minister said.
The proposal was expected to be discussed at a meeting on Thursday morning between energy representatives from each of parliament’s political parties. It would need a parliamentary majority to support it and subsequently find funding.
Many, but not all families in gas-heated homes would receive the cash injection, Jørgensen said.
“We don’t think it should be given to people with high incomes. We are therefore proposing that we agree on a level under which it will be paid out so that people with million-krone incomes can’t get it,” he said.
Families who qualify for the relief would not need to apply for it, he also said.
“If you are under the income threshold we agree on, you will automatically receive the sum. It shouldn’t be the case that you have to deal with the bother of applying for it,” he said, adding that removing an application process would ensure that vulnerable people do not miss out on it by failing to apply.
The amount which would be paid out is yet to be clarified and depends on political negotiations, the minister also said, but confirmed it would be in the thousands of kroner.