Sunday

27th May 2018

Focus

Denmark profits from Eastern European worker contributions

  • Workers from eastern Europe made up 1.5 percent of full-time employment in 2012 in Denmark. (Photo: Michael Tapp)

Eastern European workers in Denmark pay more into the state coffers than they get out, according to a new study by the Confederation of Danish Employers.

The study showed that they each paid on average €2,142 more than they received from the state in 2012/2013.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

While the foreign workers appear to provide good business for the Danish treasury, the Danes themselves represented a loss for the state.

On average, they received €800 more from the public purse than they contributed.

The figures, published on Wednesday (9 April), overturn a general perception that eastern European workers place a burden on Danish public coffers.

The calculations provide a snapshot of the EU workers' contribution to government revenues, for example via income tax and VAT. They also include any pay-outs from public funds, such as income transfers, child benefits and hospital expenses.

On the revenue side, Danes paid on average €4,286 more per year in income taxes than eastern Europeans. But the Danes were also on average better paid than their eastern colleagues.

Overall, the calculations show an average yearly income of €23,975 for Danes while eastern Europeans working in the country receive €18,886.

Early retirement, old age pensions, civil service pensions and housing benefits make Danish workers more costly to the public purse than eastern European workers.

Pensions cost the state €4,553 per Danish worker, but only €174 per foreign worker on average in 2012/2013.

Figures from the study lend weight to recent public criticism that the child benefit scheme is too generous to workers from abroad.

While Danish workers received €388 on average from the scheme in 2012/2013, eastern European workers took home €469 on average for their children.

However, the eastern Europeans are mainly represented in the 18 to 40-year-old age group, when most people have their children, while the Danish working population is more spread across the age groups.

The study shows that the foreign workers also cost more in unemployment benefits and social assistance than Danes.

An eastern European worker cost the Danish state an average of €777 in unemployment benefits in 2012/2013. The equivalent for a Danish worker was €496.

The study covered workers from 10 EU countries; Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania. They made up 1.5 percent of full-time employment in 2012 in Denmark.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

Cameron mends ties with Juncker

British PM Cameron has reached out to Juncker, after having failed to prevent his nomination as European Commission chief.

News in Brief

  1. Italy set to pick eurosceptic finance minister
  2. UK foreign minister fooled by Russian pranksters
  3. Rajoy ally gets 33 years in jail for corruption
  4. Close race as polls open in Irish abortion referendum
  5. Gazprom accepts EU conditions on gas supplies
  6. Facebook tells MEPs: non-users are not profiled
  7. Commission proposes ending France deficit procedure
  8. UK households hit with Brexit income loss

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach