The Norwegian Government expands the activity duty
The Norwegian Government will expand the scheme of activity duty for recipients of social assistance. Immigrants who receive such financial support can be required to follow a language course.
“I am concerned that too many immigrants are out of work and are passive welfare recipients. It is not good either for the individual or for the Norwegian society, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Anniken Hauglie (Conservatives),” tells Aftenposten.
Recent figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) show that immigrants receive more than half of all social assistance in Norway, and in Oslo, the proportion is even higher. In particular, it is persons from parts of Asia and Africa who receive such financial support, figures from 2017 shows.
Hauglie believes that many remain outside work and social life precisely because they are not proficient in Norwegian. She fears that immigrants and refugees will become a separate subclass in Norway.
The Government, therefore, want a Norwegian course for immigrants who receive social assistance. Additionally, they will impose a duty of activity as a condition for obtaining social assistance on those of 30 years or older. The Government introduced a similar activity duty for social assistance recipients below the age of 30 two years ago.
“We currently have a duty of activity for those under the age of 30, and so far that seems to work very well. There are fewer of them on social assistance, according to figures from Statistics Norway. We, therefore, will expand the scheme and demand activity for those above this age as well,” Hauglie informs.
“We will impose requirements for lessons in Norwegian as a condition for immigrants who do not master the language sufficiently at the same time,” she continues.
The activity duty
The activity duty implies that it is possible to withhold money from those who oppose partaking in activities. According to the Government (Granavolden) platform, the Government also wish to review a system with a fixed duty of activity for young persons who are recipients of other social benefits – disability benefits excluded.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today