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Summary, 26.03.2020 - Press conference w. municipalities and regions - removal of the fixed ceiling

Updated: Mar 28


Pictures from TV2 and eb.dk



SUMMARY OF PRESS CONFERENCE WITH SEVERAL OFFICIAL AUTHORITIES, AND OTHER CORONA-RELATED NEWS – 26.03.2020


PRESENT

  • Minister of Finances – Nicolai Wammen

  • Chairman of The National Association of Municipalities (KL) – Jacob Bundsgaard

  • Chairman of the Danish Regions – Stephanie Lose

  • Minister of Social Affairs and the Interior – Astrid Krag

BRIEF

  • The fixed ceiling on the amount of money the municipalities and regions can spend on public construction projects will be removed completely for 2020. This is an agreement between the government, KL and the Danish Regions (See the end of this summary for a more detailed description of this concept).

  • That way they can move forward investments and construction projects, which would otherwise be done in 2021 or 2022. Instead of waiting on building a road in 2021, that can be done now.

  • The projects chosen are, as a starting point, projects who can at least commence, if not also finish, in 2020.

  • The extra projects the municipalities can begin construction on is estimated to make up 2.5 billion kroner.

  • For the regions, it can turn out to be more difficult, due to the current pressure on the hospitals and the entire healthcare system, since the hospitals are filled with patients.

  • Furthermore, the municipalities and regions can pay ahead payments for services and projects they receive from companies, for 5 billion kroner and 1.5 billion kroner respectively.

  • The equalization reform between the municipalities, which was being negotiated upon just before the Corona-crisis emerged, needs to be completed before the next budget year.

  • Municipalities having a hard time economically will be able to loan liquidity in a pot of 45 billion kroner.

OTHER NEWS

  • The Danish Health Authorities now aims at testing 10.000 people per day. Yesterday that aim was 5.000 people per day.

  • 1851 has been tested positive for Coronavirus, an increase of 127 from yesterday.

  • 386 people are hospitalized, an increase of 36 from yesterday.

  • 94 are in intensive care, an increase of 7 from yesterday.

  • Of these are 78 in respirators, an increase of 2 from yesterday.

  • 41 is confirmed dead while infected with the virus, an increase of 2 from yesterday.

  • 15.981 has been tested, an infection percentage of 11.58 %.

  • 5.000 visors, 5.000 protection suits and 500.000 pieces of mouth protection has been received as a donation from the Chinese organization Jack Ma. These will now be evaluated from a security perspective, and then distributed throughout the healthcare system.

  • The Danish Institute for Serum has received 10 million kroner from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, as a contribution to strengthening the surveillance of infections and contagious diseases. These will be used to develop the digital infection emergency management efforts, hopefully discovering new threats quicker, and limiting the spread throughout the country.

  • A Danish research project at Aarhus University will investigate, whether the drug Senicapoc can prevent or slow down the development of COVID-19, and perhaps also minimize the time spent in respirator. The drug is under a patent of Professor Ulf Simonsen and other of his colleagues. The research project has received 5 million kroner in public funding and will offer the experimental treatment to selected patients with COVID-19.

  • 4.690 companies have applied for using the salary compensation package for home-sent staff in the first 24 hours.

  • The Danish government puts aside 1 billion kroner to help the effort against the Coronavirus in Africa. The money has been found by putting approvals of new development projects temporarily on halt.

  • DSB is sending home 1.750 employees with salary.

  • ISS is sending home 1.500 employees for two weeks, without salary.

  • Aalborg Carnival and all its activities have been cancelled.

UNDERSTAND THE FIXED CEILING ON PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION (translated from TV2)

According to KL, the fixed ceiling can be described as follows:

  • The fixed ceiling is the maximum amount of money, which the 98 municipalities as a whole are allowed to spend on renovating and building new buildings.

  • In the agreement from last year, the municipal fixed ceiling of 2020 was fixed at 19.1 billion kroner, an increase of 1.3 billion kroner from 2019.

  • The municipalities have regularly complained to changing governments about this fixed ceiling because they believe it puts a halt to municipal renovation and new construction projects.

  • The changing governments have wanted to have such a fixed ceiling to, among other things, prevent an overheating of the economy.


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