Saturday, May 14, 2005

Denmark: Flat tax proposal aired to stifle brain drain

Flat tax proposal aired to stifle brain drain

Denmark should follow the lead of many eastern European countries and impose a flat, single-level tax rate, according to many tax experts. The Institute of State Authorized Public Accountants (FSR) and the Taxpayers Association, a taxpayer interest group, told daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten that they agreed with many other academics and tax specialists that a flat tax could prevent the brain drain some political leaders have warned about in recent months. The newspaper reported that since Estonia had imposed a flat tax in 1994, nine other eastern and central European countries had adopted the model. It now stands on political agendas across western Europe as well. 'When foreigners hear that we have tax rates over 60 percent, they think it's a lie, even if many other countries aren't that far behind us when you count the entire tax burden,' accountant John Bygholm of FSR said. 'The signal is disastrous. Nobody leaves a 30 percent tax rate for a 60 percent tax rate of their own volition.' Bygholm said the success in eastern and central Europe should encourage the county's politicians to consider how to approach the flat tax model.

Many well educated Danes go abroad

Almost every other highly educated Dane under 40 has plans to leave Denmark and work abroad. According to a survey conducted by a Danish business magazine in cooperation with 3 trade unions, 42 percent of the 1,472 academics polled either want to go abroad or have definite plans to do so.


At May 14, 2005 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.

-Thomas Jefferson

At May 15, 2005 12:45 AM, Anonymous mikkel said...

It's VERY important to state that ALMOST ALL of the danes going abroad are returning within 3 years! So the brain drain is temporary! They go abroad to get experience.

(can't find the article to back it up now, sorry, it's about one year old)

At May 15, 2005 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"42 percent of the 1,472 academics"

As for "academics", i.e. in particular those who want to teach in a university, often they have no choice, as the shortage of openings means it is next to impossible to get such a job at home. I know several Europeans with doctorates who are actively seeking university teaching positions in the US, simply because there are, relatively speaking, many more jobs available there.


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