The Justice Minister, Per-Willy Amundsen of Fremskrittspartiet (Frp), has proposed terminating social security benefits,and pension payments, to individuals who are on the run from the Norwegian authorities.
TV 2 reported before the summer that several thousand people receive social security benefits, or pensions, while they are in a position of having escaped criminal prosecution, or sanction.
On Friday, the Justice Minister put his foot down and presented a bill to stop the payments.
‘Now it’s over. The party has ended. A person who is on the run won’t be paid a pension, or receive any social security benefits. That time is finished’, Amundsen said on TV 2 on Friday.
In the past five years there have been twice as many wanted people in Norway. According to the police, there are 14,000 people today who have absconded from criminal prosecution, or punishment.
Many of these people receive financial support from the Norwegian authorities while they are actively on the run.
A great number have left Norway, and are staying abroad at the government’s expense. According to TV 2’s calculations, 277 million a year may have been paid supporting these people.
Among the wanted people were those convicted of familial violence, fraud, robbery, drug crimes, and sexual assault.
‘There has been too much money wasted here. I can’t say exactly what the amount is, but one krone is one too many. We can’t have a system where the government finances people who are on the run,’ said Amundsen.
He hopes parliament will be able to deal with the issue quickly so that the legal amendment will come into force from the New Year.
The bill was submitted to the cabinet on Friday. Both the Arbeiderpartiet (Labour Party – Ap) and Venstre (Left – V) have said they will support the proposal.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today