Leading light

24 Jan 20

There have been fears that the legendary status of Scandinavian social welfare was starting to slip, but closer inspection suggests that it is merely being restyled to face fresh challenges.

Free, universal healthcare and elderly care, goodquality education at all levels – without a price tag, generous benefits and a strong labour market with high salaries and living standards: it’s no wonder the Nordics have become the poster-boy for what a liberal cradle-to-grave welfare state looks like. Like many systems, the Nordic system is, in the main, funded by taxes.

Yet Scandinavians – who are also said to be the happiest people in the world – rarely complain and are generally happy to pay their share. In Denmark, for example, tax rates are among the highest in the world, with tax revenues accounting for almost half of the national income.

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