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For Hamid Mukhtari, a new Danish citizen in Lyngby, the amount of money in his pocket after all expenses are paid is the same as when he was an asylum seeker in the center

Living for just 5900 a month: What it feels like to have your monthly budget cut in half

For Hamid Mukhtari, the new monthly salaries for refugees means he cannot see a specialized doctor. The amount of money in his pocket after all expenses are paid is the same as when he was an asylum seeker in the center

By Makmoud

How much money do you receive from the government?
Hamid Mukhtari is in the group of single men who just arrived to Denmark. “I get 5900 dk a month, and after paying tax and rent (Mukhtari is living in a temporary place for a start, and soon he will be move to a permanent dwelling, red.), I am left only with 2954 kr. Additionally, the bank charges me 70 kr per month for having an account. I pay 100 kr per month for my mobile telephone.”

Is it enough?
“My budget is extremely tight. I couldn’t pay for seeing a specialized doctor when I fell sick some days ago. I told the local authority that I couldn’t pay 1000 kr to the specialist, and I was helped with that bill. Also, I have to pay for transport to get to school to learn Danish – that’s about 15 minutes away by bus – so that’s another 500 kr a month,” Mukhtari says. He is also helped by the municipality for this bill. “I am left with the same money as when I was an asylum seeker in phase two living in the asylum center.”

Do you think this new, lowered support will help the integration of refugees in Denmark?
“I am going to an interview with a kindergarden to get an internship (praktik, red.), and I hope that after that I will get a job in that place. I think this law has a bad impact on new refugees, and will increase the level of crime. People feel marginalised and neglected, and this will create a social class problem because people need money to buy decent food, clothes and some recreation. All of this costs money.”

Fact box:
Hamid Mukhtari is 31 years old. He was granted asylum in November 2015, and he now lives in Lyngby. Three days a week he goes to school to learn Danish.

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