The Liberal Social Affairs Spokesman Eyvind Vesselbo says enough is enough after a survey has shown that almost 6,000 immigrant women have been on social security for more than 10 years out of the past 15.
The number is almost 25 per cent of those who are on long-term social security.
“Unfortunately there is a widespread view that these immigrant women are weak and that it’s a pity for them. It’s an unfortunate view and a discriminating one. Taking too much consideration for this group is looking down on them and saying that there’s not much that they can do. That’s what it was like in the 90s and so nowadays we have created an unemployment culture among immigrants,” Vesselbo says.’
Asked whether the government is afraid to tackle the problem, Vesselbo says he is not sure, but nothing has been done.
“It’s probably more an unwillingness to do something about it because a large part of the government sees these women as weak, as people who cannot speak Danish and who don’t have the requirements. I don’t agree. They have been in Denmark for more than 10 years, so it can’t be right that they don’t speak Danish,” says Vesselbo , adding that these women should be forced to work.
“Danish society has the same requirements for these women to work as it does for everyone else. Everyone has the responsibility to contribute,” he says.
“One of the things we should look at is why these women are not working. Is it because their husbands won’t allow them to? If so, councils should make sure that the men are not a problem by saying that there’s no more money,” Vesselbo says.
The Liberal Alliance says that social security payments in general should be reduced as this would give immigrant women – and all others on social security – the incentive to get a job after so many years on transfer payments.
“The system has just broken down. The idea was that (social security) was the lowest transfer payment so people could keep on going for a shorter period. We are going to have to look at the amounts concerned. The higher the amount, the more people are on it,” the LA’s Joachim B. Olsen tells Ritzau.
Social Democratic Employment Minister Mette Frederiksen agrees that the current system has gone wrong and promises to do something about it.
“The idea has never been that people should remain on social security year after year and that parents should let their children grow up in families where their permanent income is social security,” Frederiksen tells Jyllands-Posten.
“In the upcoming social security reform proposal we will make sure that this cannot continue,” she says.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood