KrF and Liberals in budget talks with Siv Jensen
The Christian Democrats (KrF) and Liberals (Venstre) have clear expectations regarding the state budget. On Wednesday evening, the parties were informed by the Finance Minister, Siv Jensen from the Progress Party (Frp).
Liberal representative Terje Breivik and Kjell Ingolf Ropstad from KrF convened at the Ministry of Finance at 19 pm on Wednesday. Just before that, the leaders of the Finance Factions in the Conservatives (Høyre) and the Frp were invited to a similar orientation.
– Now I’m going to meet the Minister of Finance, that is always nice. I do not know what we’re going to be informed about , Terje Breivik told NTB on his way to the meeting.
After the election, the Government is dependent on the support of both The Liberals and KrF to get their budget accepted, and both of those parties have long lists of claims in exchange for their support.
– We expect the budget to be sustainable, both climate-friendly and regarding use of oil money. For the Liberals it is also important that this budget will further strengthen the school. We are also concerned about equal opportunities for all and the fight against child poverty in particular. We are also eager that we continue the good work we have provided together over the last four years to make it easier to create jobs, Breivik said before the meeting.
Kjell Ingolf Ropstad arrived shortly before the start of the meeting and did not want to comment on his way in. On Sunday, he however stated to NTB that KrF is concerned about the social profile of the budget.
– We expect a budget that seriously addresses that there are people that fall outside society, he says.
KrF also has clear demands for increased focus on more teachers for the youngest pupils and that the cash support is made more flexible so that it can be combined with kindergarten usage.
Siv Jensen says she has had the wishes and priorities of the Liberals and KrF in the back of her mind when she laid the budget.
– The Government always considers its partners, as well as thinking about managing the country safely and look ahead, she tells NRK.
Siv Jensen will present the budget on Thursday at 10 am. A novelty is that the Government will present selected key figures already at 8 am in an attempt to preempt leaks to the media.
Jensen says the budget shows that it is better for the Norwegian economy. Unemployment is decreasing and more enter into the workplace.
– It gives us room for action, but we must prioritize more than we have done before. When the economy point in the right direction, we need to let up a bit on incentives. It is crucial not to weaken the competitiveness of the industry, says Jensen to NTB.
The budget will also be characterized by that huge sums are tied up by the Armed Forces, Transport and Hospitals.
Ought to have been less
Both Jensen and Solberg have been clear that oil spending will be lower, and that this year’s budget will have an oil money use of just shy of 3 per cent of the returns from the oil fund. Over the past five years, oil fund spending has increased by a total of NOK 19 billion every year on average.
Macroeconomists estimate from the government’s signals that oil fund spending this year will be between somewhere NOK 7 and 9 billion, something several experts believes is too much.
– I think we should spend less, says chief economist in Sparebank 1 Markets, Harald Magnus Andreassen, to DN.
Calls for moderation
The opening of the Parliament this week was marked by an opposition that emphatically showed the Government that it is now is a minority. KrF and Venstre chose, among other things, to support Labour’s proposal to reintroduce 14 weeks of father leave, and a unanimous Parliament called for the Government to make changes to the disputed new nursing allowance scheme. In its acquired belief to find other constellations for obtaining a majority, the opposition has already submitted 31 unique proposals. Jensen reminds that you must look at the total cost of the many good intentions.
– I hope the opposition will act responsibly, otherwise it will be a challenge for Norway Incorpoated. And I do not believe we face an irresponsible opposition, she says.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today