The so-called social exemption card allows homeless, vulnerable and mentally ill people to make money tax-free. In 2019, 112 Copenhageners earned a total of DKK 1 million.
Sara Hauge has been writing poems for almost eight years. Last year, she earned $ 20,000 to perform with them and talk about her mental illness.
It gives me a feeling of being worthy, says Sara Hauge.
For as long as she can remember, she has heard voices and delusions, and today she has been diagnosed with schizophrenic paranoid.
I’m brave when I act, because I don’t dare every time, she says.
She says that her mental illness and depression have kept her out of the job market for several years, which is a huge burden for her right now.
Therefore, she is part of the so-called social exemption card, where homeless, vulnerable and mentally ill have the opportunity to earn up to DKK 20,000 tax-free per year, without affecting one’s other benefits.
– It’s the first financial backlash I’ve had in a long time. I can go out and do something that people will pay for. It sounds like a small thing, but it is a very big thing when you live in the situation that you have for many years thought that you could not find out either being self-sufficient or being part of a working life, says 36-year-old Sara Hauge.
Thus, she is one of a total of 112 Copenhageners who last year together earned one million kroner to work and were paid the money through the social exemption card.
We can see that it makes sense. You get a bigger touch with each other, so there are also companies that have become more socially conscious, but first and foremost, it helps the individual, says social mayor of Copenhagen Municipality, Mia Nyegaard from the Radical Left.
An attempt that may continue
The social exemption card is a two-year trial scheme for all municipalities, which began in January 2019 and ends the year.
There are several mentally vulnerable people who have an opportunity that has benefited from it. Where it may have been intended for homeless people in the street. But let’s get it started now, let’s make sure it’s there in the next period as well, says Mia Nygaard.
In 2016, she and the Liberal Alliance helped propose the possibility of a social exemption card.
Back then, it was especially intended for homeless people at Vesterbro, who would be able to earn a 50’s completely tax-free on, for example, helping with practical work.
We need to look at whether the social exemption card has become a little too cumbersome for the homeless. When it needs to be evaluated after two years, one has to look at whether it is too bureaucratic. At the same time, we need to become better at matching the individual citizen who would like a free pass with the companies that are, says Mia Nygaard.