Denmark to Give Heating Subsidies to Hundreds of Thousands of Needy Households in Massive Relief

CC BY-SA 2.0 / Nigel Swales / OdenseOdense, Denmark
Odense, Denmark - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.02.2022
Nations across Europe ranging from Norway to Greece have been funnelling billions of euros into relief measures to shield consumers from record-high global gas prices.
Danish Energy Minister Dan Jørgensen has announced subsidies for some 320,000 households (out of the 5.8-million-strong nation's roughly 2.6 million households) to help cover the costs of soaring heating bills after a parliamentary majority backed the massive spending.
A steep hike in energy prices over the course of last year has affected an increasing number of Danish families, putting pressure on the government to act.
In total, the ruling Social Democrats' left-wing allies and the Christian Democrats agreed to spend around DKK 1 billion ($150 million) on one-off subsidies to those households deemed most affected – well over ten percent of the nation's families.

"We think it's fair to give this helping hand because we're in such a unique situation. We are not used to helping people pay these types of bills", Dan Jørgensen said in a statement.

Accirding to Jørgensen, the government pondered giving broad tax breaks, but dismissed it, as it would help all Danes, but only slightly.
"The effects of this need to be felt by the people who receive the cheques", Jørgensen said.
Under the scheme, households will receive DKK 3,750 (around $570). In order to qualify, a household must be located in a gas-heated area and have an annual income below DKK 550,000 ($84,000). Payouts will occur automatically, so eligible households won't need to go through an application process.
The expedited replacement of individual gas heating systems worth an additional DKK 250 million ($38 million) has also been agreed upon.
Apart from the Christian Democrats, other conservative and centre-right parties representing the "blue" bloc withdrew from the negotiations claiming the amount was too low and the qualifications too rigid.
In offering relief measures, Denmark has joined fellow Nordic nations Norway and Sweden, who previously introduced broad electricity subsidies for households in a pinch.
Record global gas prices have forced governments across Europe to funnel billions of euros into measures to shield consumers. The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are among the nations that have so far introduced relief measures in one form or another.
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