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Danes happy to pay world's highest taxes

Only Danes pay more taxes than Swedes
'Sweden is a tax haven'

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - Most people in Denmark, which boasts some of the world's highest taxes, think their tax rate is appropriate and more than one in 10 think they don't pay enough, a poll published Tuesday showed.

The Greens Analyseinstitut survey, published in the financial daily Boersen, indicated that a full 66 percent of Danes agree with their level of taxation, while only 20 percent think taxes are too high.

Twelve percent of the 1,132 people polled from October 11 to 13 meanwhile said taxes in Denmark were too low.

In 2007, Denmark was ranked as the highest-tax country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with taxation there amounting 48.3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).

That compares to the OECD average of 38 percent and the US taxation rate of 26.9 percent of GDP, and places Denmark ahead of Sweden, where taxation amounted to 48.2 percent of GDP in 2007.

The Danish "love affair" with taxes has to do with the Scandinavian country's generous welfare state, which many feel has come under fire since the a centre-right government first came to power in 2001 with the support of the far-right, observers say.

That government "introduced a tax freeze and decided to contain the public sector. From that moment, the political financial debate veered to the left," political science professor Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard of the Copenhagen University told Boersen.

When broken down by party affiliations, Tuesday's survey showed adherents to the ruling parties and their far-right allies in the Danish People's Party were the most likely to complain about tax burdens.

Around a quarter of of the three parties' supporters said their taxes were too high, according to the poll.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:45)

 

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