Kent Petersen: Good government platform – but with flaws
The government platform of the new ‘working partnership’ of the Danish SVM government comprises several good initiatives, but there are still loose ends, says President of Finansforbundet, Kent Petersen.
"The new government platform is in many areas quite promising and generally brings into focus the major challenges we are facing as a society," says President of Finansforbundet, Kent Petersen.
He finds the proposed labour supply increase and the economic policy positive. Several of Finansforbundet's key issues are now also part of the new government and the government platform.
"It’s good that the government wants to future-proof Denmark’s educational system by providing more freedom, flexibility and coherence between all levels of education, further education and the labour market, as it appears from the government platform," Kent Petersen says.
New ministry of digitalisation and permanent tripartite institution
Denmark has never before had a ministry for digitalisation, data and technology, but the SVM government has appointed Marie Bjerre from the Liberal Party as minister of digitalisation.
"We are very pleased with that decision. Data and digitalisation play such a prominent role in our personal and professional lives that it makes good sense to give these areas a clearer political priority."
Kent Petersen also notes that the tripartite institution is made permanent.
"It’s a good idea to include the social partners in major reforms, and as part of the government platform make it clear that the tripartite institution is here to stay and will continuously follow up on key reform tracks. At Finansforbundet, we have worked for this for years, simply because agreements between the social partners create a better foundation for the major decisions to be made for our society”, says Kent Petersen.
Still some remaining loose ends
Kent Petersen does, however, also see challenges in the platform presented by Mette Frederiksen, Jacob Ellemann and Lars Løkke.
The government platform proposes to bring forward the target of becoming climate-neutral to 2045; five years sooner than the current target. And yet, Kent Petersen is critical of the failure to focus on the climate agenda.
"We need to make massive investments in green alternatives, because we quite simply have to become more climate-neutral. There are so many other pressing concerns right now, but the climate must under no circumstances be downgraded."
The government is also proposing to close down the job centres and turn their responsibilities over to local authorities and unemployment insurance funds.
"Shutting down the job centres fundamentally intervenes with basic employment efforts. It will transfer a massive task to the municipalities and unemployment insurance funds. This begs the question of who should finance such exercise, and it risks leaving behind the most vulnerable of the unemployed; those who are not members of an unemployment insurance fund," he says.
In addition, he calls for a more proactive focus on business policy, particularly in terms of the positions of strength defined in and for Denmark.
"We still need specific initiatives on how to create jobs and growth in the future," says Kent Petersen.