Arc of Prosperity

Scottish Independence within the EU – with a Scandinavian Slant

common wealDenmark

Vote Yes to save the Danish welfare state

P3313479 by tracy apps, on Flickr.
Denmark used to have a great welfare state, but it’s getting undermined at the moment.

For instance, private hospitals are taking over more and more of the Danish NHS (like in England). Unemployment benefits are being reduced. Nursery prices are going up. Tax rates for high earners are getting cut.

Interestingly, it’s not because Denmark cannot afford the welfare state at the moment, but because politicians and civil servants are primarily getting their inspiration from the US and from England, so they’re under the impression that it’s the only way forward.

To a large extent, the Danish political left lost its mojo years ago. A majority of people want to preserve the welfare state that they love, but they keep getting told its unaffordable (which is simply not true).

Meanwhile, in Scotland the independence debate has energised lots of people, so the whole place is buzzing with new ideas. We’ve also lived with Westminster’s neo-liberal consensus for so long that we know why it’s wrong.

Projects like the Common Weal are thus showing the way forward for the welfare state, and it’s in many ways years ahead of the Danish debate.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Danish politicians start flocking to Scotland soon after independence to learn about the Common Weal and find inspiration to rebuild and improve the Danish welfare state.

Most Danes might not realise it, but Denmark needs Scotland to vote Yes.

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