State monopolies' tax-free status examined

The long-standing tradition of providing tax relief to state-owned companies might be abolished, if a right-of-centre political majority has its way

Private rail operator Arriva's accusation that DSB enjoys an unfair advantage due to its tax-free status could spur a major reform of the tax-free practice for state-owned companies.

The status effectively gives the national rail operator DSB a subsidy worth DKK 100 million, according to the national association of public transportation providers, DKT.

A parliamentary majority made up of the Liberal - Conservative coalition government, backed by the Danish People's Party, said it would consider putting an end to the tax-free status of DSB and another state-owned company, post carrier Post Danmark.

The move would even the playing field for private companies, said the parties.

'We need to get rid of the discrimination practiced against private companies,' said Per Ørum Jørgensen, spokesperson on business affairs for the Conservatives.

Post Danmark's CEO, Bjarne Wind, had no objections to revoking the tax-free status.

'We also believe that competition needs to be fair,' Wind told daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende. 'We're not interested in always being accused of having special advantages.'

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