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Reduction of financial support for refugees

Andreas Kamm, Secretary general in Danish Refugee Council, don’t think the few refugees who might find a job, because of the new rules, can make it up on all the damages on the integration it will cause. Photo: Agnete Schlichtkrull / Dansk Flygtningehjælp
Andreas Kamm, Secretary general in Danish Refugee Council, don’t think the few refugees who might find a job, because of the new rules, can make it up on all the damages on the integration it will cause. Photo: Agnete Schlichtkrull / Dansk Flygtningehjælp

The Danish Government decided to reduce the financial support for refugees from September 2015 to make Denmark less attractive and to get more refugees in jobs, but the law has met criticism.

By: Michael Bang

21.000 immigrants applied for asylum in Denmark in 2015, which was 40% more than in 2014. The Danish government wants to make it less attractive for refugees to come to Denmark, which have lead to several tightenings in the asylum law. One of the tightenings is the reduction of the integration support (integrationsydelse) for refugees granted asylum after September 1, 2015.

Less attractive and more in job
When the Government presented the new law in August, the Minister of Immigration Inger Støjberg (V) said:

“Hopefully the impact will be, that fewer asylum seekers will come to Denmark. That is our very clear goal. We have to help people who are in need, but we also need to keep up, and we can not, as it is now,” said Inger Støjberg to the Danish newspaper Politiken.

Another goal is to get more refugees in job, but that has been criticized by the Danish Refugee Council:

“Studies show that it will get very few in job. But in practice this will lead to poverty for many refugees and it will be difficult for them to find a place to live and to take part of the society life,” says Andreas Kamm, Secretary general in Danish Refugee Council.

Andreas Kamm argues that the few refugees that might get a job because of the new law, can’t make it up for the damages it will have on the integration.

Hamid got asylum a couple of weeks after the new rules came into force, and therefore gets around 6.000 kroner instead of 11.000 (before taxes).
Hamid got asylum a couple of weeks after the new rules came into force, and therefore gets around 6.000 kroner instead of 11.000 (before taxes).

Might expanded to cover more refugees
The Government is planning to expand the new law so it also covers refugees, who have been in Denmark less than seven years. This will affect refugees who have been in Denmark for several years and Andreas Kamm is very sceptic about the consequences.

“It is sad to think, that people who finally have found a place to live, now is driven away from their homes and have to start all over again,” says Andreas Kamm.

It is the plan, that the new rules will come into effect July 1, 2016, but first it need to be decided in the parliament. According to the Office of Integration (Integrationskontoret) the new law will affect 21.000 people.

New Times has tried to get a comment from the government party Venstre, but it has not been possible.

CUT IN FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES
The Danish government decided to cut the financial support for refugees with 30-50% depending on the family size. The new rules apply to refugees who are granted asylum after September 1, 2015.

Integration support
(Before taxes)
Old rules After 1th of September, 2015
Single without children 10.849 5.945
Family with children 28.832 16.638

Source: Ministry of immigration and integration

 

 

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