“There will be tougher priorities when the government starts working on the financial budget for next year,” reports Minister of Finance Siv Jensen (Frp).
When the Cabinet ministers from the Right, the Progress Party and the Left start to drag out the fight about how much money they get to spend in 2019, the backdrop is that the Norwegian economy is getting better.
Thus, there is less of a need to use oil dividends. Priorities are getting tougher – the time when “all” can expect to get more over the state budget is over, this time.
“We have been behind for a few years and we had to spend more money. Now it’s going better, so we have to put money aside,” says Jensen to NTB.
The big picture is currently the same:
“Growth is higher than normal, unemployment continues to fall, and employment is increasing more than we saw this time, late last autumn. Competitiveness has strengthened. At the same time, there are more elderly and increased expenses for care, healthcare and pensions,” according to the Secretary of Finance’s description.
It poses the following challenge during the three-day budget conference at Hurdalsjøen:
“We politicians must be able to prioritize tougher,” Jensen warns.
Not everyone will get
In addition, the blue-green party have some areas they want to prioritize after healthcare, elderly care and nav has gotten their shares.
“We must find room for what we have said we should prioritize – such as infrastructure and defense – in addition to health. Then we simply can not use anything on everything else,” says Jensen to NTB.
– Will this be the toughest budget struggle for you as finance minister?
– “Budget conferences are always demanding. All government ministers have their wishes and issues they are fighting for. But the government is united to follow up with the new government platform.”
Tax and oil
Tax cuts and tax reliefs have always been fights for the Finance Minister’s party Frp. Now Jensen formulates herself carefully:
“Increased taxes is not a good contribution to boosting competitiveness, gaining more jobs and prioritizing welfare. We must enable companies to create more, not to tax them more.”
On the amount of oil money used, she is clear:
“We have said that the use of oil money for consumption should go down. That will be done.”
Without making any promises, Jensen goes a long way in confirming that the so-called bureaucracy and efficiency reform will continue. Since 2015, all public enterprises have reduced their annual transfers by 0.5 percent.
– I can not comment on single points. But the ABE reform was introduced because it is a good reform that places demands on all agencies. It’s about turning the resource out and making the most of the crowns.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today