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To think if you want to be “like Denmark”...

(98 Posts)
SachaStark Fri 22-May-20 13:00:50

... then you have to be prepared to vote and pay taxes like the Danish?

I keep reading these comparisons on here, particularly regarding the re-opening of Danish schools, and seeing posters cry out for, “being like Denmark.”

But ultimately, things like this are easier (though not easy) for countries like Denmark which benefit hugely from high taxation. Hence why their schools can be better prepared, and they have a greater number of well-maintained public spaces to utilise for COVID-related reasons.

AIBU to think that if you want to be more like Denmark, then you should be realigning your thinking to agree with, for example, income tax rates of 45%, in order to create a country with excellent public services, like Denmark?

GinDaddyRedux Fri 22-May-20 13:06:32

Completely agree and great post.

Us British love to criticise and demand improvement to public services, yet we consistently vote in right-of-centre because at the end of the day, low taxes, year-on-year house price rises please.

I do think however that Denmark isn't just a beneficiary of high taxation. It's also how light, progressive and fair the public service decision making is conducted. We have a ghastly setup in this country where vested interest dig in, curry favour, and ultimately a lot of officials like to look at "partnerships" that would bring the private sector in to provide "long term solutions". It just leads to massive overspend etc.

We also have a kind of "pass the buck" approach to public decision making. Passive aggressive behaviour is rife, no one wants to be accountable, and long term decision making is discouraged.

It's no wonder therefore that despite very decent amounts of funding and care for our greatest institution, it becomes a black hole or quagmire wherein people retreat into their trenches, look after vested interests, slow down decision making, and reinvent the wheel for "personal brand" and prestige reasons.

HollowTalk Fri 22-May-20 13:06:48

Do they pay an equivalent of VAT on top of that? I'd love someone from Denmark to come on and tell us how it works with average salaries and take home pay etc.

Littlecaf Fri 22-May-20 13:21:16

If you want to be like Denmark, go live there.

Oh wait......

(I love Denmark btw)

caperberries Fri 22-May-20 13:27:10

Denmark is also a much more equitable society, people in senior positions earn comparatively less.
High-earners in the U.K. would hate it. There’s such a culture here of lording over those less fortunate, whilst pretending not to.

And I say that as a fairly high earner myself.

But a more equitable society is a happier society - successive studies have borne it out

vinoelle Fri 22-May-20 13:32:14

out of interest i wonder what the relative percentage of unemployment or those that rely on state help is in denmark?

iamapixie Fri 22-May-20 13:33:46

But we consistently seem to want to align ourselves with the USA model instead. Wondering if this might make us re think, but it's going to be hard to get people to back higher taxes during a massive recession, especially if public goods (education/NHS etc) can no longer be provided at 'normal' levels.

PafLeChien Fri 22-May-20 13:35:53

then you should be realigning your thinking to agree with, for example, income tax rates of 45%

I am completely up for it, that's pretty much what I pay already, it would be nice for other people to share the burden for a change.

Foobydoo Fri 22-May-20 13:38:15

Exactly! Denmark has only had several hundred deaths not tens of thousands like us.
Denmark has large classrooms and a very high staff to child ratio.
The BBC made me fume with there one sided comparisons between our schools and Denmarks.
It's like comparing a clapped out second hand car with a new Mercedes.

BarbaraofSeville Fri 22-May-20 13:40:48

It's more like people want Danish public services while paying US level taxes.

Many people are quite happy for 'someone else' to pay for the services that they enjoy.

High taxes are less of a problem if whatever you have left still leaves you with a good standard of living, eg enough for suitable housing and other essentials, plus being able to save and also enjoy life. In a more equal society, there's less focus on earning lots of money to keep up with or have more than the Jones's.

There's less of a 'long hours' presenteeism culture too. The DHs with their 'big jobs' that involve long hours at work and travelling wouldn't fit in very well, as people work shorter hours and then both parents do their share of childcare.

Jaxhog Fri 22-May-20 13:41:38

Great post. I get so annoyed with the 'see how much better it is' somewhere else' posts, that only look at one aspect rather than
comparing the complete picture.

I'm also of the view that, if you don't like the culture where you are, go somewhere that suits you better and stop complaining so much!

DarkenedTimes Fri 22-May-20 13:44:27

While I don’t disagree with that principle, you make it sound so simple.

To be like Denmark in reopening schools right now, in the short term, we need: a smaller population and effective tracking and tracing. In the longer term what we need is a government that gives a damn about its people, all of them, in all corners of the land. We need a total cultural paradigm shift away from the culture of shallow greed, focus on appearances and stats and power games; less focus on money for money’s sake and an awareness that the economy is there as a natural expression of human behaviour and its servant, not its exploitative master. We need sound administration from the bottom up, distribution and to turn our backs once and for all from the command-and-control centralised mindset.

Money alone will not give us that, although it is a necessary tool.

DarkenedTimes Fri 22-May-20 13:45:32

And we can’t just go somewhere else. This is our home, for bad or for good. Most of us cannot just fly off to a second home on the other side of the world.

araiwa Fri 22-May-20 13:46:50

Britain needs to decide what it wants.

We want usa low tax with european high social spending. Cant have both

Proudboomer Fri 22-May-20 13:46:56

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PafLeChien Fri 22-May-20 13:49:06

I'm also of the view that, if you don't like the culture where you are, go somewhere that suits you better and stop complaining so much!

or better, campaign and be active in pushing changes to improve your HOME. We don't have to settle for anything, it's possible to improve our situation.

Frazzled2207 Fri 22-May-20 13:49:45

don't know much about Denmark but I know a bit about Norway as we have family there. Much like I hear about Denmark, the society is much more equitable, everyone has their own place in society and there is not the vast differences in wealth that we have here. They get childcare for almost free and their education system is free. Virtually no unemployment or homelessness (there will be issues but not on anything like the scale they are here). They are also strides ahead in moving towards a carbon neutral society.

Yes they pay more in tax and I would be happy to pay.

ChavvySexPond Fri 22-May-20 13:55:50

Denmark hasn't had 62,000 extra deaths since mid-March so yes please. Let's be like Denmark.

SundayGirlB Fri 22-May-20 13:58:10

I'd pay that to be like Denmark!

NoHardSell Fri 22-May-20 14:00:48

I'd rather be like Sweden but I have had to accept I live in the UK and the British attitude to life in general is pretty different.

I'm not a fan of the 'if you don't like it, go live somewhere else' line, but thanks to Brexit voters I can't anyway.

Proudboomer Fri 22-May-20 14:01:56

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Proudboomer Fri 22-May-20 14:05:12

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Pleasenodont Fri 22-May-20 14:05:26

Totally agree. DH’s best friend lives in Denmark and it’s ridiculously expensive for basic essentials.

SachaStark Fri 22-May-20 14:35:59

I absolutely agree with the point made by some PPs: that the UK wants both the low taxation rates of the US (likely alongside its “every man for himself” anti-socialism sentiments), whilst also benefiting from Scandinavian-style high public spending on public services.

CopenhagenMummy Fri 22-May-20 14:44:12

Dane here not all your facts are correct.

The normal income tax is 37% and if you earn more than 50k a year it goes up a level and then again from 70k.

I find wages are higher here than in UK. But yes some things are more expensive here. I would say going out is central London prices.

I’m very glad to live and a country that actually takes care of the weakness in society and I gladly pay my taxes(work as a business controller so middle level).

Our population is not 97% white! More like 86% and the rest is New Danes as we call them.

Danish hospital and schools are very good. Public better than private. Best doctors work at the public university hospitals.
The future king goes to a public state school with normal kids living locally.

We have a very high quality of life compared to most of Europe. Education is free and you get money from the state to educate yourself.

I couldn’t understand why people was collecting money for the NSH in UK and my English husband had to explain why that was needed.

We are not perfect though- no country is wink

I am personally very happy with the way our government have dealt with this situation.

If you have any questions I’ll do my best to answer.

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