The Liberal Party (Liberale Parti, also known as Venstre) is a major free market liberal party in Denmark. The party is a member of Liberal International and sits with the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party in the European Parliament. In the 2005 parliamentary elections, it received 29% of the vote, and 52 out of 179 seats. It is led by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Prime Minister, and governs in coalition with the Conservative People's Party.
Politically, Venstre is a market or classical liberal party. The current leader, Rasmussen, is known for his authorship of the book "Fra Socialstat til Minimalstat" (English: From Social State to Minimal State), where he advocates an extensive reform of the Danish welfare system, along classic liberalist lines, i.e. lower taxes, less government interference in corporate and individual matters, etc. Rasmussen has lately drifted away from his earlier views and has called liberalism an outdated ideology (http://www.berlingske.dk/indland/artikel:aid=534664/).
Since the elections in 2001, Venstre has enacted a "tax stop" in order to halt the growth in taxes seen during the previous eight years under the Social Democrats (Socialdemokratiet). This tax stop has been under heavy fire from the parties on the left wing of Danish politics, allegedly for being "asocial" and "only for the rich."
It has, however, been ineffective, judging by Venstre's own intentions. The goal of the tax stop was to halt the growth of public expenditures, but even with their cuts in spending (which are opposed by the left wing), public spending has continued to rise by approximately 1% above inflation, per year.
In 2004, two small tax cuts go into effect:
First, people with jobs get a 3% tax reduction on the 5% "bottom tax" (Danish: Bundskat). This initiative is supposed to encourage people to go off welfare, and take jobs instead.
Second, the bottom limit of the "middle tax" (Danish: Mellemskat) of 6%, is raised by 12,000 Danish Kroner every year, over the next four years. This will limit the income stresses of middle incomes and families with children.
Venstre has so far refrained from making statements on the future of the "top tax" (Danish: Topskat) of 15%, and the Value Added Tax (Danish: "MOMS") of 25%.
- Official web site (http://www.venstre.dk)