Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Danish way...

Well it seems like when I mention my 5 weeks vacation or 1 year of maternity leave I get comments about how lucky we are in Denmark. And yes we are lucky, but we also pay high taxes, almost 50% of our income is paid in taxes.

I don't think I would have it any other way though, because the high taxes gives us a lot of things too, like the ability to stay on maternity leave for a year, free schools (that is if you choose the public schools, which are great schools), free education (the university is free, though you have to pay for your own books), student grants (you get paid to study, not a huge amount, but mine covered rent and food, and then I had a job on the side for all the fun things), free dental until you are 18 (imagine the cost if you would have to get braces), free doctors and hospitals (it didn't cost us anything to have me in the hospital for a few days after I gave birth, or having Jonas x-rayed when he broke his collarbone).  There is probably a lot more we get for our taxes, but that is just what I came up with at the top of my head.

But then they want more than the 50%, but they aren't going to take it from you salary, they will hide it on the goods you buy. Recently the made a fat tax, where sugar and fat products should be taxed harder... though it seems like even the fat free products have got more expensive...

Or try buying a car! I remember when we were in the USA all those big fancy cars that were driving around, actually you don't have to go further than Germany so see big fancy cars that will be a lot cheaper than in Denmark. Just to give you a quick example, I went to Fords American web page and a Ford Focus the prizes starts at $16.200 the same car at Fords Danish website starts at $36.500... that's the tax system for you, no wonder there is a lot of crappy cars in Denmark! And on top of the high prices you have to pay taxes for owning the car! And then there is the gas prices, it's around $1,92, not too bad you think, well that is pr. liter, so if you want the price for a gallon it will be $7,26! I know we don't drive that long distances here to get to a from work, but let's face it you would have to get a really good salary to afford the long distances!

Still I wouldn't want it any other way, because I love my vacations, the free hospitals etc. The cars might be expensive, the food prices might have gone up, but I wouldn't have miss out on my 1 year of maternity leave for lower taxes and then paying everything myself.  So after all I'm pretty content living the Danish way!


  1. That all makes sense! I wonder how salaries compare to those in the U.S. to see if they adjust for the taxes?

    1. Sorry Meghan I guess I haven't been awake when I saw your comment, because it wasn't until now I realised you asked a question. The salaries in Denmark are a lot higher than in the U.S.
      I remember when we travelled in the U.S. I saw signs that McDonalds etc. were hiring, and I saw the pay thinking noone will be able to survive on that in Denmark after the taxes are paid...

  2. I have to agree having higher taxes makes all the difference when it comes to things like hospital cover and stuff! :)


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