Danish opposition parties criticise 2024 budget despite voting for it

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish opposition parties criticise 2024 budget despite voting for it
Danish lawmakers present the 2024 budget agreement. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Some 11 out of 12 parties are to vote for the 2024 budget after negotiations resulted in broad opposition backing for next year’s government spending.


A draft version of the budget was tabled by the government at end of August, with some leeway for negotiation of part of the planned state spending.

Some 500 million kroner was put aside for negotiated spending in the August draft budget, an amount that rose to 956 million kroner in the final version agreed by 11 out of parliament's 12 parties as a result of the negotiations.

Only one of the nine opposition parties, the left-wing Red Green Alliance, is not part of the final budget, meaning it has broad parliamentary support.

The budget allocates billions of kroner of spending in 2024 on areas including welfare, psychiatry, green energy transition, education and the courts.

When it presented the draft version of the budget, the government said it wanted to keep a leash on spending due to concerns over inflation.

However, the so-called økonomisk råderum or financial surplus in government spending was found to be larger than expected by the order of several billion kroner.

One area of additional spending negotiated by opposition parties includes investment in peripheral areas of the country, known in Danish as udkantsdanmark.


Some 110 million kroner will be spent financing upper secondary schools (gymnasier) in these areas, while a special fund will be set up for localities hit by storm surges such as those suffered in parts of Denmark in October.

People who commute to work from outer areas will also be given additional tax deductions for doing so under the new budget. Ferry tickets to small islands will be reduced in price through government subsidies.

“We’ve succeeded in landing an overall agreement with important priorities in relation to development of rural districts,” Health and Interior Minister Sophie Løhde said at a press briefing on Monday.

Leader of the Denmark Democrats Inger Støjberg said that “rural districts wouldn’t have got as much focus” without her party’s involvement in the budget.

Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen said the additional surplus “means that the budget we can present is even better than the one the government came up with in August”.


Another outlay tacked on to the budget is 275 million kroner on ambulances and other vehicles to be used in medical emergencies in peripheral regions.

Some opposition parties criticised the government and suggested the broad agreement was a sign of weakness, despite being signatories to it themselves.

“I think this majority government feels a bit insecure about its majority and is therefore concerned about negotiating with others,” leader of the Socialist People’s Party (SF) Pia Olsen Dyhr said.

Nevertheless, SF was able to secure additional funding for elderly care, school books, drinking water and marine habitats, she said.

On the opposite wing of the opposition, Liberal Alliance’s (LA) finance spokesperson Ole Birk Olesen said that Wammen’s goal with the budget was to make it look like the centrist coalition “has no opposition in Danish politics”.

LA joined the agreement to stop an increase in a registration tax for electric cars, Olesen said.

“The government had to give something to Liberal Alliance to get us to stand there with Wammen and pretend”, he said.

The budget “does not grasp the big problems,” he claimed.


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